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Giant Magellan Telescope's international partners approve start of construction phase

The Giant Magellan Telescope Organization announced today that its 11 international partners, which includes the University of Chicago, have committed more than $500 million to begin construction of the first of a new generation of extremely large telescopes. Once it is built, the Giant Magellan Telescope is poised to be the largest optical telescope in the world.
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Magellan Telescope takes sharpest photos ever of the night sky

For over 20 years, astronomers at the University of Arizona, the Arcetri Observatory in Italy, and the Carnegie Observatory in Chile have been working on a new kind of telescopic camera technology that allows images of the night sky to be taken with an unprecedented clarity. These cameras, attached to the Magellan Telescope in Chile, have captured the clearest photos of the night sky ever.



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 Mountaintop Blasting to Mine the Sky with the Giant Magellan Telescope

Astronomers have begun to blast 3 million cubic feet of rock from a mountaintop in the Chilean Andes to make room for what will be the world's largest telescope when completed near the end of the decade. The telescope will be located at the Carnegie Institution's Las Campanas Observatory - one of the world's premier astronomical sites, known for its pristine conditions and clear, dark skies. Over the next few months, more than 70 controlled blasts will break up the rock while leaving a solid bedrock foundation for the telescope and its precision scientific instruments.
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UA Mirror Lab works full tilt on huge scope

The 20 tons of glass melting in a spinning furnace under the bleachers of Arizona Stadium represent the second $20 million gamble for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) project.
The first gamble was technological.

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Mirror Casting Event for the Giant Magellan Telescope

On January 14, 2012, the second 8.4-metre diameter mirror for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) will be cast inside a rotating furnace at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory Mirror Lab (SOML) underneath the campus football stadium. The Mirror Lab will host a special event to highlight the milestone of creating the optics for the Giant Magellan Telescope.
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Australia Gets $72 Million for the GMT

The Australian government has announced that it will provide $88.4 million AUD ($72.4 million USD) to help fund the revolutionary 25-meter Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) to be sited at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile's high-altitude Atacama Desert. This brings the funding that has been raised to date to $200 million out of approximately $700 million total needed to complete construction, which is scheduled for 2019.
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The Magellan instrument, powerful though it will be, is the smallest of three monstrous telescopes in various stages of construction. Together, they at last will pull back the curtain from the universes birth chamber, allowing scientists for the first time to study the processes that created todays mature cosmos of planetary systems, stars, galaxies and galaxy clusters - all flying apart at breakneck speed.
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GMT
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Australia Gives $72 Million for the Giant Magellan Telescope
The Australian government has announced that it will provide $88.4 million AUD ($72.4 million USD) to help fund the revolutionary 25-meter Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) to be sited at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile's high-altitude Atacama Desert.
This brings the funding that has been raised to date to $200 million out of approximately $700 million total needed to complete GMT construction, which is scheduled for 2019.

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The Atacama Desert's dry climate and 5,600-metre altitude make it a unique and ideal Mecca for both ground-based reflector and far-infrared astronomy. It's the next best location to outer space for high-accuracy astronomical observations. The southern hemisphere skies were opened with the construction of the Carnegie 100-inch DuPont telescope at Las Campanas in 1977.

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Nine research institutions on three continents have signed a founder's agreement to construct and operate the Giant Magellan Telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in the Andes Mountains of Chile. The telescope will consist of seven co-mounted 8.4 meter mirror segments with the equivalent resolution of a single 24.5 meter primary mirror. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2012 and should be completed around 2019.

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