A rendered video shows a birds eye view of the completed Giant Magellan Telescope standing tall at its home, the Las Campanas peak in Chile’s Atacama desert, with the telescope pointed at the Milky Way in the night sky.
Chile: Our Window Into the Universe
OF CLEAR SKY
Science at Its Best
The Giant Magellan Telescope’s location in the Southern Hemisphere provides astronomers with direct observation of many celestial objects of scientific interest, including the galactic center of the Milky Way, the nearest supermassive black hole (proximity to Sagittarius A*), the nearest star to our Sun (Proxima Centauri), the Magellanic Clouds, and many of the closest galaxies and exoplanets. This is also part of the reason why the southern sky is home to many of the world’s most advanced ground-based telescopes, like the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the world’s largest radio telescope studying light from the coldest and oldest objects in our universe. In addition, many of the most advanced space telescopes, like the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), have key science mission directives in the southern sky.
Chile Is an Astronomical Powerhouse
As the astronomical capital of the world, Chile provides synergistic scientific collaborations between existing telescopes, international universities, and local communities. The international collaboration fosters the expertise required to build, operate, and maintain the most advanced telescopes ever engineered. Large scientific projects like the Giant Magellan Telescope rely on the strong international partnerships that the people of Chile have generously embraced. This Chilean relationship with astronomy has skyrocketed the prestige of local research universities and has contributed to an innovative economic boom.
Enjoy the Progress
Government RelationsWe operate in Chile under a cooperative agreement with the University of Chile. The government of Chile has recognized this agreement through a presidential decree recorded by the foreign ministry.
We frequently meet with various official agencies in Chile to coordinate actions regarding light and air pollution. We are members of the Fundación Cielos Oscuros (FCC) board, and we collaborate with the Sociedad Chilena de Astronomía (SOCHIAS), the Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo (ANID), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministerio del Medio Ambiente (MMA).
University ResearchThe Giant Magellan Telescope has a research agreement with the University of Chile to grant 10% of the observing time to astronomers working at Chilean institutions. We also sponsor academic research activities and actively participate in university committees.
Local EconomyThe construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope creates hundreds of local jobs and drives scientific advancement at Chilean universities.
Social ImpactThrough a community-based approach, the Giant Magellan Telescope partners with local communities and leading organizations to co-develop equity-driven programs that broaden participation in STEM.