Giant Magellanic Telescope, in search of life in the Universe

The GMTO Corporation has welcomed its international consortium, formed by selected Universities and prestigious Research Institutes to build the Giant Magellan Telescope, also al Weizmann Institute of Science.

The new partnership reinforces the idea that the completion of the largest Gregorian infrared optical telescope is a top priority for the international scientific community. The unprecedented abilities of the GMT, coupled with the world’s leading scientific expertise and the Weizmann Institute’s resources in astrophysics, will revolutionize humanity’s way of understanding the universe and its place in it.

Walter Massey, board chair of GMTO Corporation, commented on the partnership saying “we have become stronger and more capable. We are now one step closer to aiming the world’s most powerful mirror through heaven and unlocking many cosmic secrets.”

GMTO and Weizmann Institute

Even before officially joining the consortium, faculties of the Institute had helped in the development of one of the first scientific instruments for the Telescope: a spectrograph that is designed to study Earth-like planets around stars similar to those in the solar system.

Building on its leadership in astrophysics, particle physics and space mission design, the Institute, through its flagships, hopes to provide new levels of insight to central questions of fundamental physics, while contributing to broad practical application. . “It is a privilege to join the Consortium” said Prof. Avishay Gal – Yam of the Weizmann Institute “joining a global team at the forefront of astrophysics research will allow us to accelerate our observation skills and develop tools that they can elevate the way the team of leading astrophysicists explore the universe and share expertise with partners of the highest caliber. “

Life is sought on other planets

Construction of the next generation telescope is underway in the Atacama Desert in Chile, on the top of Las Campanas, one of the best sites in the world for exploring the universe. It will use seven of the largest mirrors in the world with the most advanced adaptive optics to see millions of light-years across the universe at ten times the resolution of the famous Hubble Space Telescope. This extraordinary sharpness in the images will allow scientists around the globe to gain new evidence on the fundamental nature and evolution of the universe, including the search for life on distant planets.