Regents approve $50 million to help construct world’s largest visual telescope

Madlin Mekelburg

This story was originally written on March 7, 2014.

The UT System Board of Regents authorized the University to contribute $50 million from its research reserves to the Giant Magellan Telescope project at a specially called meeting Friday. 

According to Patrick McCarthy, director of the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization, the telescope passed reviews in February and is now ready for construction. The telescope, which will be built in Chile, will be the world’s largest visual telescope once it is constructed. 

According to a press release from the System, the total cost of the telescope is predicted to be approximately $1.05 billion in total, and UT plans to eventually contribute $100 million. 

“This will help position UT Austin to become the top public research university in the country,” Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa said in a press release. “In the 1500’s, Ferdinand Magellan organized the first expedition to circumnavigate the globe. Now, UT Austin and the Giant Magellan Telescope project are continuing that journey to better understand the world we live in.” 

Click here to read more about the Giant Magellan Telescope.