The Giant Magellan Telescope Project - A Status Report

Friday, 18 July 2014 2 p.m. — 3 p.m. MST

AURA Lecture Hall

NOIRLab South Colloquia
GEORGE H. JACOBY (GMT Instrumentation Scientist and NOAO South Visiting Astronomer)

The Giant Magellan Telescope project is an international collaboration to design, build, and operate a 25-m telescope for research in astrophysics and cosmology. The GMT primary mirror is comprised of seven 8.4-m diameter segments, which with diffraction-limited image quality, provides an order of magnitude better sensitivity than current facilities. The telescope will be located at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile and will access the same region of the sky as the LSST, the Dark Energy Survey, ALMA and a number of other surveys and front-line facilities to offer synergistic gains. The GMT will have a usable 20 arcmin field of view, the widest of the proposed ELTs, allowing efficient follow-up of survey targets. Adaptive optics is integral to the telescope via a segmented adaptive secondary mirror. Development of the first generation instruments is underway.

I will review the scientific goals of the project and its current technical and construction status.