ASU joins mission to build world's largest optical telescope

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Arizona State University is joining an international consortium building in building the world's largest optical telescope in Chile. (Source: ASU/Twitter) Arizona State University is joining an international consortium building in building the world's largest optical telescope in Chile. (Source: ASU/Twitter)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona State University is joining an international consortium building in building the world's largest optical telescope in Chile.

Director Lindy Elkins-Tanton of Arizona State's School of Earth and Space Exploration says participation in the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization is a leap forward institutionally for the university.

The Giant Magellan Telescope Organization is a collaboration project from several universities and institutions dedicated to building the largest, most advanced optical telescope to date.

ASU will be the second university in Arizona to join the project, as the University of Arizona had been attached to the mission previously.

The university says in a news release released Wednesday that research conducted with the telescope planned for completion at Las Campanas Observatory in 2026 will help answer fundamental questions about the nature of the universe, including planets that could support life.

The telescope is said to have an optical surface of 24.5 meters in diameter, which is slightly longer than a bowling lane.


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