CHICAGO (CBS) — The University of Chicago has agreed to kick in $50 million toward a $1 billion project to build a massive telescope in Chile, which one scientist has said will be like putting eyeglasses on the Hubble Telescope.
The Giant Magellan Telescope will be the largest optical telescope in the world, and would provide a view farther into space (and, therefore, further into the galaxy’s past) than anything else.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Weekend Warmup
The University of Chicago has been working with 10 other institutions to build the telescope, pledging a combined $500 million for the project so far.
The Giant Magellan Telescope Organization has said the telescope should see first light in 2021, and be fully operational by 2024.
In a YouTube video announcing the project’s construction phase, GMTO president Edward Moses said it could answer questions about the origins of the universe and life.READ MORE: Northwestern Alums Create 'The Seeker,' A Highly Accurate Football Thrower They Call A Robotic QB
“It’s a new epic in the field of astronomy,” he said. “It’s a new epic for cosmology, astrophysics, and the history of the universe. So we’ll be able to see things further and fainter than anyone has ever seen before.”