The Giant Magellan Telescope Will do Wonders
The Biggest Game in the Cosmos
by Thoams Levenson
In Tucson, Arizone a ginat oven is baking twenty tons of borosilicate into a parabola 330inches across at about 2139 fahrenheit...Over three days the glass will be baked. Then, over several months the glass will be cooled and polished within .000001 of an inch "theoretically perfect" shape.It will have 400 atoms of aluminum coating; making it the largest telescope mirror in the world.Yet, it will no be used until the next six are built.But will the astronomers have enough money to build it?
Freedman, the director of the Carnegie's Institution of Washington observatories says that they have colelcted 17 million and they still need the rest; about $500 million to complete the task.
This telescope could find earth size planets around the stars according to Freedman and it could tell us about the bits of living chemistry in other planet atmospheres. It could also give us clues as to how our planet developed.
Consider what we have learned from the 60 inch telescope on Mount Wilson, near Pasedena and its' follower, the 100 inch telescope on Mount Wilson.
In 1924,Hubble told us that he had learned that theMilky Way was not the only galaxy. Then in five years, he discovered that we were apart of an expanding universe!
What do you think of this project? Do you think it could bring us a long way or not at all?