A giant telescope using seven 8.4-meter mirrors is advancing
The artist’s view of the Giant Magellan Telescope. Its main mirror is a mosaic consisting of seven single mirrors measuring 8.4 meters. Image by Mason Media / GMT
Precise control of telescope mirrors requires high-precision control technology. Giant Magellan Telescope received a EUR 15 million grant for the development of a mirror control system.
“The image quality of any telescope starts with its main mirror,” explains James Fanson, project manager for the Giant Magellan telescope.
“The main mirror of the Giant Magellan Telescope consists of seven 8.4-meter mirror pieces. In order to get diffraction-limited imaging accuracy, we need to be able to control these parts of the main mirror so that they act like a single 25-meter mirror,” he continues.
To date, the system for controlling individual mirror pieces has only been tested in miniature at the University of Arizona.
The new funding is intended to build a full-scale laboratory-based prototype that proves the control will work accurately enough to build the final system.
The first images of the Giant Magellan giant telescope to be built in Chile are due in 2029. The total budget of the project is almost one billion euros. It includes the United States, Australia, Brazil, South Korea and Chile.
Several other unprecedented telescopes are currently under construction. These include an ELT with a 39-meter mosaic mirror, to be completed in 2025, and a 30-meter Thirty Meter Telescope, aimed at 2027.
The preparation of the latter project in Hawaii is in crisis due to indigenous opposition.
Article source: https://www.avaruus.fi/uutiset/kaukoputket-ja-observatoriot/luonnos-seitsemaa-84-metrin-peilia-kayttava-jattiteleskooppi-etenee.html?tx_ursa[archive]=1 and https://news.arizona.edu/story/nsf-grant-accelerates-development-one-worlds-most-powerful-telescopes-test-bed-being-built
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