Giant Magellan Telescope one step closer to reality

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The smallest (but still huge compared to our largest telescopes today) of the three extremely large telescopes slated for completion in 2018 is one step closer to reality today after the Carnegie Institution endorsed its construction, and now 40% of its total cost has been paid for by the founding institutions.

Total cost of the telescope is about $700 million, which is exceptionally cheap considering that it will be capable of obtaining images with ten times the clarity of the Hubble Space Telescope, which cost $2 billion to construct in the beginning.

2018 promises to be an exciting year, as along with this telescope with a collecting area of 368 m2, the other two have a collecting area of 655 m2 and 1300 m2, while our largest today is a mere 111 m2.

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