2020: The year of the telescope-to-own-all-telescopes.

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What to say? When finished, the Giant Magellan Telescope located in Chili, will be the largest optic ever made. The third of seven primary mirrors was just cast in a spinning furnace. 20-ton mirror. 25+ feet across. Huge. Altogether, however? It will be around 25 METERS across, around 80 feet.

It will have TEN TIMES the magnification power of.. Hubble. Kaboom! Mind blown.

Granted, it will be on Earth. The Hubble is orbiting Earth in space. Depending on weather conditions and battling the optical backslides our atmosphere doles out shaves a little bit of it’s MacDaddy-ness off the top.. but still.

This will pair very well with Hubble’s replacement, the Webb Telescope. It will orbit the Sun about a million miles out. No fixes if it breaks down. All of this is amazing.

They used to cast huge lenses and mirrors, and if they weren’t large enough, they’d cast pieces together and fit it together like a puzzle. I forget how hard this is, but I can remember my Astronomy teacher making me wonder if human hands could do something with the amount of precision and perfection needed. This is nothing like that. Much easier in ways, much harder in others. Amazing anyhow.

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