The Giant Magellans Telescope is equipped with one of the largest mirrors ever built, which will ensure the incredible quality of images of even the most distant galaxies.
What do we know about the new telescope?
The Giant Magellans Telescope is fundamentally different from Hubble and James Webb, the ground observatory. The plan is that construction will be completed in the mid-2020s and the first measurements will begin in 2029.
A system of seven primary mirrors with a diameter of 8.4 m and a weight of 20 tons each will be used as a light-gathering element. Today it is the largest mirror in history. In comparison, Webb is now considered to be the largest space telescope with the largest mirror. However, the largest monolithic mirror ever launched by mankind, the Herschel telescope, has a diameter of 3.5 metres.
What's going on with the telescope now?
The Magellan Telescope has recently received additional funding — $205 million to accelerate construction — from a worldwide consortium, such as the Carnegie Science Institute, Harvard University, the So Paulo Research Foundation, the University of Texas in Austin, and the universities of Arizona and Chicago, which has been one of the largest joint investments since the establishment of the Earth Observatory.
The money will invest in building a massive 12-storey telescope design in 2025, improving the seven main telescope mirrors at Richard F. Caris' laboratory at the University of Arizona, and building one of the most technologically sophisticated scientific spectrographers at the University of Texas.
The funding was approved following the evaluation of Giant Magellan Telescope as a key partner in the US Astró 2020 Decadal Survey of the National Academy of Sciences.
Comparison with Webb Telescope
The Giant Magellans Telescope, which is being built at the Carnegie Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, is larger than any previous optical telescope. It will allow astronomers to look further into space and to see a clearer picture. In addition to being 200 times more powerful than today's research observatory, Magellana's light collection area will be 10 times larger than Webb's.
What is he capable of?
The Magellan telescope will provide unprecedented images of space, all thanks to the extraordinary angular resolution, advanced spectrography and high-density cameras, and the next step in understanding physics and chemistry of the smallest light sources in space that Webb will detect will be the Magellan telescope.
Among his tasks are finding signs of extraterrestrial life in the atmospheres of potentially inhabited planets, studying the earliest galaxies, and gathering information that will solve the riddles of dark matter, dark energy, black holes, and the creation of the universe itself.
We're not alone?
As Dr. Walter Massey, president of the board of directors of Giant Magellan Telescope, noted in a press release, "Gigant Magellans Telescope" "will extend the limits of astronomy, making the future a reality".
"It will help answer the most basic questions of science, including whether we are alone in the universe," he added.
The future of space travel will also be made possible by the Giant Magellan Telescope. The 25.4-metre-diameter observatory will provide a comprehensive picture of our universe. Scientists will be able to learn more about the origins of the chemical elements of space, shed light on the riddles of dark matter and confirm for the first time the existence of life in other worlds.