The Giant Magellan Telescope
The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is a 25-metre optical and infrared telescope, currently under construction, in which Australia has a 10% share. It will cost US$1.3 billion, collect 6 times as much light as today's biggest telescopes, and produce images 10 times sharper than the Hubble Space Telescope. Using GMT, astronomers will be able to take images of planets around other stars, probe the atmospheres of these exoplanets, find super-massive black holes in galaxies, and perhaps detect some of the very first stars to form in the universe. I will present the design of the telescope, the status of construction, and the science that it will enable. I will also discuss the contributions that Australia is making to the GMT project.
Professor Matthew Colless, Australian National University