Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Making mirrors for the Giant Magellan Telescope

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When the Giant Magellan Telescope goes online around 2020, it will be the first of a new generation of massive telescopes that will be able to look back and see the earliest objects in the Universe. The GMT will also be able to directly image planets up to one million times fainter than their host stars, using an adaptive optics system that gives it ten times the resolving power of the Hubble Space Telescope. On August 24, 2013, casting of the telescope's third mirror began at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory Mirror Lab in Tucson, Ariz.