Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT)
The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is a next generation optical/infra-red telescope. At 25 metres in diameter, it will have over six times the collecting area of the largest telescopes currently in existence. It is being developed by the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization (GMTO) on behalf of a consortium of universities in the USA, along with the Australian National University (ANU) and Astronomy Australia Ltd (AAL).
The light-gathering area and resolution that the GMT will achieve is required to address some of the most exciting questions of the 21st century: How did the first galaxies form? What are dark matter and dark energy that comprise most of our universe? How did stellar matter from the Big Bang congeal into what we see today? What is the fate of the universe? Are we alone?
"The GMT will play a leading role in the international race to identify planets orbiting stars near the Sun that could host life and potentially reveal the signatures of biological processes. The first years of GMT's operation will be an incredibly exciting time."
- Prof Chris Tinney, UNSW, former member on GMT Science Advisory Committee.
The GMTIFS (GMT Integral Field Spectrograph) instrument from the ANU has been chosen as one of six GMT first-light instruments for which Conceptual Design Studies are being undertaken. GMTIFS will be used with the GMT's Laser Tomography Adaptive Optics (LTAO) system and the primary instrument is an adaptive-optics-corrected near-infrared integral-field spectrograph. The ANU is also contracted to develop the GMT LTAO system concept.
The AAO-designed MANIFEST (MANy-Instrument FibrE SysTem) is a general-purpose fibre-positioning system, to feed the GMT instruments such as GMACS (the proposed optical imaging spectrograph), NIRMOS (the proposed near-infrared imaging spectrograph) and G-Clef (high resolution optical spectrograph).
AAL representation on GMT Committees
GMT Board: Nigel Poole, National Measurement Institute.
GMT Founder Representative: Mr Mark McAuley, AAL.
GMT Science Advisory Committee: Assoc. Prof Andy Sheinis, until March 2017.
Artist's impression of the GMT. Image credit: Giant Magellan Telescope/GMTO.