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Taiwan joins international Giant Magellan Telescope construction consortium

Taiwan’s Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics will take part in building the Giant Magellan Telescope, one of the world’s largest such instruments following a memorandum of understanding signed Feb. 20, according to the Cabinet-level National Science and Technology Council.
Taiwan will join Australia, Brazil, Chile, Israel, South Korea and the U.S. in work on the optical telescope, which is currently under construction in Chile and is expected to be completed in 2030, the NSTC said. With a resolution 10 times better than the Hubble Space Telescope, the GMT will, for the first time, lead ground-based optical and infrared research while offering unparalleled insights into the universe’s dark matter, the origins of chemical elements, and the discovery of life on distant exoplanets, the council added.
According to the NSTC, the participation demonstrated the international recognition that Taiwan’s astronomical research and instrumental development have received. The country will contribute expertise in areas such as low noise and compact detector electronics, precision detector characterization and precision laser cutting technology, it added.
To join one of the 30-meter-class telescopes has long been an aspiration for Taiwan astronomers, the NSTC said, adding that the collaboration will pave the way for the country’s future research and facilitate the cultivation of new generation personnel. The council anticipated that the project will deepen partnerships between Taiwan and other countries in the advancement of global scientific development.
Other institutions participating in the project include Harvard University, University of Chicago, Australian National University, Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science. (YCH-E)
Write to Taiwan Today at ttonline@mofa.gov.tw

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