The Giant Magellan Telescope Organization has announced on Wednesday (June 3) that its 11 international partners have committed more than $500 million (USD) to begin construction on a mountaintop in Chile of the largest optical telescope ever built.
The telescope’s seven mirrors span 25 meters and will focus more than six times the amount of light of any other optical telescope on the planet. When operational, the telescope will be able to produce images up to ten times sharper than those of the Hubble Space Telescope.
According to its developers, the telescope, which is expected to cost $1 billion (USD) to construct in total, will enable astronomers to look deeper into space and further back in time than ever before. It’s primary focus, according to its developers, is to find Earth-like planets around nearby stars as well as reveal the faintest objects ever seen in space.
It is expected to begin peering into space in 2021 and be fully operational by 2024.