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Construction of world's largest telescope begins in Chile

Scientists from around the world gathered for groundbreaking ceremony

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Professors from Texas A&M University joined scientists from around the world Wednesday at a groundbreaking ceremony for the future site of the world's largest telescope.

The Giant Magellan Telescope is being built in the Andes Mountains in Chile, which are renowned worldwide for their clear skies and ability to give luminous astronomical observations.

"The Giant Magellan Telescope will be the first of the new generation of very large optical telescopes," Nicholas Suntzeff, director of the astronomy program at Texas A&M, said.

The GMT will use massive mirrors to capture images that are 10 times the quality of pictures taken by the Hubble Telescope

The construction of the telescope has brought the global scientific community together, with investors from the United States, Australia, Brazil and Korea.

Texas A&M University contributed an instrument called GMACS, which will allow for new groundbreaking observations.

"The GMACS can observe many hundreds of objects at one exposure," Ting Li, one of the graduate students working with the project, said. "It is designed to do a variety of science, ranging from the stars in the Milky Way in our local universe all the way to the galaxies in the very high redshift that are some of the first ever galaxies to form."​