Telescopes — can they every be big enough? With news of serious progress on the Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile, Emily and Chris natter about Astronomy's truly big optical scopes. First there were a slew of Large Telescopes. Then came the VLT, the Very Large Telescope. That wasn't large enough, so we got the Extremely Large Telescope. The Overwhelmingly Large Telescope was planned for a while, but then got cancelled, which sounds like it might have been a good thing. The technology is awesome, the science is astounding — the next decade is going to be a great one for optical astronomy.
Things we talk about in this episode:
A good video about the GMT from National Geographic
SALT, the South African Large Telescope
The Overwhelmingly Large Telescope (now cancelled)
Making Magellan Mirrors (video)