Sixth of seven mirrors cast for the groundbreaking Giant Magellan Telescope – Pasadena

Rendering of the Giant Magellan Telescope under construction in Chile, provided by the Pasadena-based GMTO Corporation.
A worker with the fifth primary mirror segment of the Giant Magellan Telescope can be seen in a dateless photo. (Credit: (Damien Jemison / GMTO Corporation)

A Pasadena-based company working on the construction of a giant Magellan telescope to expand human horizons into space casts six of the seven giant mirrors needed for groundbreaking equipment under construction in Chile. By doing so, we announced a major step towards achieving our goals.

Similar to its counterpart, the mirror segment is 27.5 feet wide, smoothing the optical surface to “less than one-thousandth the width of human hair, or less than one-fifth of a single coronavirus particle.” It will be polished in 2 years. “GMTO Corporation said in writing.Cast at Richard F. Charis Miller Lab at the University of Arizona

It will be combined with other mirror and telescope components in the late 2020s. Las Campanas Observatory According to GMTO Corporation, Chile is an ideal location for astronomical observations.

James Phanson, GMT Project Manager, said large, high-precision condensing mirrors make up “the most important part of the telescope.”

“The bigger the mirror, the deeper you can see the universe and the more detailed you can see it,” he explained. “The unique primary mirror design of the Giant Magellan Telescope consists of seven of the world’s largest mirrors. Casting the sixth mirror is a major step towards completion.”

“The Giant Magellan Telescope produces 10 times more vivid images than the Hubble Space Telescope when it goes live,” said Phanson. “The discoveries made by these mirrors will change our understanding of the universe.”

According to a statement from GMTO Corporation, the casting of each mirror is “considered as a wonder of modern engineering and is usually celebrated by a large face-to-face event with attendees from around the world.” “Due to the coronavirus pandemic, work on the sixth mirror began in a closed room to protect the health of the lab’s 10 mirror casting team.”

The seventh and last telescope mirror was expected to be cast in 2023, a company representative said. Additional mirrors are also planned as backups of the seven primary mirrors that will need maintenance in the future.

According to the company, once operational, GMT will be able to find a dime-engraved torch 100 miles away.

“Such vision is 10 times that of the famous Hubble Space Telescope and 4 times that of the James Webb Space Telescope, which is expected to be launched in late 2021,” the statement said.

GMT Chief Scientist Rebecca Hanstein said the new telescope represents “an unprecedented combination of focusing power, efficiency, and image resolution,” including exploration of other Earth-like planets and many other astronomical events. He said that he would support various investigations.

“We have a unique feature for studying planets in high resolution. This is whether the planet has a rocky composition like Earth, and whether it contains liquid water. , The key to understanding whether the atmosphere contains the right combination of molecules to signal its presence. In life, “she said.

The telescope location in Chile’s Atacama Desert, above 8,200 feet above sea level, was chosen for its unique location that gives a glimpse into the depths of our galaxy.

“This site is known as one of the best astronomical sites on the planet, with very clear images produced by fine weather, low light pollution and stable airflow,” said a statement from GMTO Corporation.

“In addition, the location of this site in the Southern Hemisphere provides very large telescope access to the center of the Milky Way, which is interesting for many reasons, including the fact that it is home to the nearest supermassive black hole. The most interesting nearby galaxy, “continued the statement. “The Southern Hemisphere also has some of the most powerful observatories operating at other wavelengths, making it an ideal location for synergistic scientific observations.”

For more information on the Giant Magellan Telescope, please visit the GMTO Corporation website. https://www.gmto.org/


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Sixth of seven mirrors cast for the groundbreaking Giant Magellan Telescope – Pasadena

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