The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) will be a 25.4-meter optical/near-infrared telescope located at Las Campanas Observatory in the Chilean Atacama Desert. It is being built by an international consortium of universities and research institutions. The optical design of GMT consists of seven 8.4-meter borosilicate honeycomb mirror segments that reflect light to seven secondary mirror segments in a doubly-segmented Gregorian configuration. Commissioning will be performed using a fast-steering secondary mirror assembly which, during science operations, can be replaced with a state-of-the-art adaptive secondary assembly comprised of fully adaptive segments. The adaptive secondary mirrors will enable ground layer, natural guide star, and laser tomography adaptive optics to be used on GMT. I will give an overview of the GMT optical design and its unique capabilities among the other extremely large telescopes. I will further describe the first generation of GMT instruments and the diverse science cases the instrument suite allows. Lastly, I will give a status update on the final design work, mirror fabrication, prototyping, and site construction that is underway to bring GMT towards first light.
Host: Ian Crossfield