Giant Megallan Telescope Excavation is Complete

The current construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope completed excavations for its foundations in six months instead of the planned 8-months. The foundations of the Giant Magellan Telescope’s massive pier and enclosure are now complete.

The site construction team is now moving onto the next phase in of the site’s utilities infrastructure which is expected to take about 8 months to complete. The work will involve trenching and installing conduit and piping to connect the summit facilities and support sites to water and electrical system.

Following the completion of the utilities infrastructure, the construction of a temporary concrete plant on the summit, and construction of the concrete foundations for the telescope pier, enclosure, and summit utility building will begin in 2020. It will start operation with four of the seven planned mirrors.

The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is a ground-based extremely large telescope under construction, planned for completion in 2025. It will consist of seven 8.4 meter (27.6 ft) diameter primary segments, that will observe optical and (320–25000 nm) light, with the resolving power of a 24.5 m (80.4 ft) primary mirror and collecting area equivalent to a 22.0 m (72.2 ft) one, which is about 368 square meters. The telescope is expected to have 10 times greater power than the Hubble Space Telescope, and will be the largest optical observatory in the world. The $1 billion project is US-led in partnership with Australia, Brazil, and South Korea, with Chile as the host country.

Rendering of the GMT

The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) is a 39.3-meter-diameter (130-foot) telescope. Construction on the ELT started May 2017 and it is scheduled for first light in 2025. If the ELT completes first then the GMT will start as the second largest telescope.

SOURCE – Giant Magellan Telescope, Extremely Large Telescope

Written By Brian Wang