The Giant Magellan Telescope: Construction to start soon in Chile

Observatory stands on mountaintop

Artist’s rendering: GMTO Corp.

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents has authorized the execution of an amended and restated Founders’ Agreement and Commitment Agreement with the GMTO Corporation, reaffirming Texas A&M University’s support to assist in building the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) and helping to pave the way for construction to begin in Chile later this spring.

“This investment ensures that Texas A&M astronomers play key roles in breakthrough discoveries that will redefine the fields of astronomy and astrophysics,” said John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M System. “Support for this important endeavor gives us a major boost toward establishing Texas A&M as a top institution in national and international astronomical research and instrumentation.”

The GMT, set for construction at the Las Campanas Observatory site in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, will be a member of the next class of super giant Earth-based telescopes that promises to revolutionize our view and understanding of the universe. When completed, the 25-meter colossus will feature 10 times the resolving power of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and more than six times the light-gathering area of the largest telescopes in existence today.