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Giant Magellan Telescope Taiwanese partner expands global science impact

Giant Magellan Telescope Taiwanese partner expands global science impact

 


  • Through ASIAA, Taiwan joins Australia, Brazil, Chile, Israel, South Korea and the United States in building one of the largest and most powerful telescopes in the world.

PASADENA, USA – The Giant Magellan Telescope on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, welcomed the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA), a prominent Taiwanese research institute, to its international consortium. ASIAA's involvement expands the consortium to 14 international research institutions, underscoring the importance of the Giant Magellanics to the global astronomy community and the consortium's commitment to prioritizing global collaboration to advance science.

We are thrilled to welcome ASIAA to our international consortium of distinguished partners, said Dr Walter Massey, Chairman of the Board of the Giant Magellan Telescope.

Together, our consortium combines worldwide scientific expertise and engineering ingenuity to create a project that benefits all areas of universe-related research. This collective investment in the Giant Magellan Telescope is a testament that science can transcend boundaries and bind humanity together for good.

Astronomical research and instrumental development capabilities in Taiwan have received international recognition. ASIAA will contribute expertise in areas such as low noise electronics and compact detector, precision detector characterization technology, precision laser cutting technology and many more. These contributions will be invaluable once the telescope is operational in the early 2030s.

ASIAA is pleased to be part of the Giant Magellan Telescope consortium and the Taiwanese scientific community is prepared to contribute its expertise while also benefiting from the wealth of knowledge within the consortium, said Dr Ue-Li Pen, director of ASIAA.

Joining one of the thirty-meter class telescopes has been a long-term aspiration for Taiwanese astronomers, and Giant Magellan is considered the most suitable project for this endeavor. The collaboration between ASIAA and the Giant Magellan Telescope creates a strong foundation for astronomical research in Taiwan, with a special emphasis on educating and developing new generations in this field. We also anticipate that this project will deepen cooperation between Taiwan and the other six countries in the consortium.

Construction of the telescope progresses rapidly in the Chilean Atacama Desert and in laboratories around the world. Over the past year, fabrication began on the seventh and final primary mirror in Arizona, while production of the 39-meter-tall mountain structure began in Illinois. Progress includes the completion of the first of seven mirror covers in Germany and the near completion of the first adaptive secondary mirror of the telescopes in France and Italy. Other advances were made in an array of high-resolution imaging and spectrographs in Arizona, Australia, California, Massachusetts, South Korea and Texas.

These optical technologies will enable Giant Magellan to boast a remarkable tenfold increase in resolution compared to the Hubble Space Telescope and deliver up to 200 times the power of today's best telescopes. The new technologies will empower scientists around the world, providing unprecedented insights into the evolution of the universe, the origins of chemical elements and the discovery of life on distant exoplanets for the first time.

The news of ASIAA's inclusion in the international consortium Giant Magellan Telescopes was celebrated by elected officials in the United States dedicated to scientific advances, democratic values, international partnerships.

Arizona US Senator and former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly emphasized how scientific collaborations can strengthen international relations. Arizona has long been a leader in astronomy and optical research, and thanks to major contributions from the University of Arizona and Arizona State University, the Giant Magellan Telescope will lead the way for the next generation of discoveries in astronomy, said Senator Kelly. We welcome the newest collaborators from Taiwan to the Giant Magellan consortium and look forward to strengthening the ties between Arizona and Taiwan through our shared commitment to democracy, education and innovation.

US Congressman of Texas and Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Michael T. McCaul, also emphasized the importance of supporting major international research initiatives.

I am pleased that our friends in Taiwan have joined this important project, which includes top-tier research institutions such as Texas A&M and the University of Texas, said Congressman McCaul. The Giant Magellan Telescope will be a groundbreaking observatory that will expand our knowledge of the universe and enable the US to maintain its dominance in ground-based optical and infrared astronomy.

ASIAA joins Arizona State University, Astronomy Australia Ltd., Australian National University, Carnegie Institution for Science, Harvard University, Korea Institute of Astronomy and Space Science, São Paulo Research Foundation, Smithsonian Institution, Texas A&M University, University of of Texas at Austin, the University of Arizona, the University of Chicago and the Weizmann Institute of Science in the construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope.

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