The University of Chicago recently joined the effort to build the world's largest telescope in Chile, which promises to eclipse the image quality even of the Hubble Space Telescope. The university will provide $50 million to become a founding partner in the project called the
Giant Magellan Telescope
, which will be able see objects 100 times fainter than the Hubble Space Telescope can detect. Other founding GMT partners are the Carnegie Institution for Science, University of Texas at Austin, Harvard University, Australian National University, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, University of Arizona, Texas A&M University, Astronomy Australia Ltd., and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute. Construction of the GMT will begin at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile, in 2012 and will take approximately seven years to complete. The $700 million GMT will combine seven 8.4-meter primary mirror segments into the equivalent of a 24.5-meter telescope (nearly 82 feet).