Giant Magellan Telescope
The universe awaits
Meet the
The Giant Magellan Telescope is the most advanced ground-based telescope ever engineered. It’s designed to push the boundaries of human knowledge and discover the unknown. With unmatched image quality, seven of the world’s largest mirrors will launch our view into the universe to…
Find Earth-like planets, inspect
their atmospheres, and search
for signs of life...
Investigate the cosmic origins of chemical elements and unlock the mysteries of dark matter and energy...
Peer back in cosmic time to explore the formation of the first stars, galaxies, and black holes...
by design
Optical Efficiency
The optical design of the Giant Magellan Telescope makes it extremely efficient in how it uses collected light. There are only two mirror surfaces in the optical path when used in its wide field of view modes, and only three mirror surfaces for the small field of view adaptive optics modes. This makes the Giant Magellan Telescope the most optically-efficient of all extremely large telescopes in the 30-meter class.
Image Clarity
The Giant Magellan Telescope is the only extremely large telescope in the 30-meter class with ground layer adaptive optics (GLAO) over the full field of view. This enables the telescope to see fainter objects with better resolution and sensitivity, which is extremely powerful for spectroscopy and the measurements of distances, dynamics, chemistry and masses of galaxies, planets, and stars.
Field of View
The Giant Magellan Telescope will have the widest field of view with the best image quality of any extremely large telescope in the 30-meter class. With a total light collecting area of 368 square meters, the telescope will deliver images sharp enough to resolve the torch engraved on a dime from nearly 160 kilometers away.
Cost Efficiency
The Giant Magellan Telescope’s optical design allows for the wide field of view, and magnification required to revolutionize astronomy, while keeping a compact total image size in the focal plane. In other words, the Giant Magellan Telescope has a smaller plate scale than the other 30-meter class extremely large telescopes, which allows for smaller, better, and cheaper instruments.
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Our founders

The Giant Magellan Telescope is being built in the mountains of Chile’s Atacama Desert, one of the best locations on Earth to explore the heavens. The extremely large telescope is the work of an international consortium of leading universities and research institutions.


The science case, technical requirements, and status of the Giant Magellan Telescope have evolved over the course of the project to reflect new discoveries and scientific priorities. The foundational documents and status papers listed below are intended for scientists and engineers to learn more about the Giant Magellan Telescope.


System level preliminary design review

In 2014, the Giant Magellan Telescope project successfully passed its System Level Preliminary Design Review. The project was reviewed by an international panel of experts involved with building telescopes around the world. The panel examined the design of the giant telescope, its complex optical systems, and precision scientific instruments.

Existing observatory foundational documents for the Giant Magellan Telescope can be found under the Technical Requirements and Specifications section below.


Technical requirements & specifications


Scientific instruments

The following documents outline the requirements and capabilities of the Giant Magellan Telescope’s first suite of scientific instruments.