What is TMT?

The Thirty Meter Telescope is a new class of extremely large telescopes that will allow us to see deeper into space and observe cosmic objects with unprecedented sensitivity. With its 30 m prime mirror diameter, TMT will be three times as wide, with nine times more area, than the largest currently existing visible-light telescope in the world. This will provide unparalleled resolution with TMT images more than 12 times sharper than those from the Hubble Space Telescope. When operational, TMT will provide new observational opportunities in essentially every field of astronomy and astrophysics.  Observing in wavelengths ranging from the ultraviolet to the mid-infrared, this unique instrument will allow astronomers to address fundamental questions in astronomy ranging from understanding star and planet formation to unraveling the history of galaxies and the development of large-scale structure in the universe.

Check out the TMT Timeline to find out the current stage of TMT development. See a comparison between TMT and other upcoming extremely large telescopes. Learn more about what scientific questions may be answered with the help of TMT.

UC has been a world leader in astronomy and astrophysics research for more than 127 years, and the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will build on that history.

The University of California is on a mission to revolutionize humankind’s understanding of the cosmos, by building the world’s most powerful telescope. Once complete, the TMT will be the largest and most powerful land-based optical/infrared telescope on Earth. The project — which has been spearheaded by UC and the California Institute of Technology since 2003 — will be built and run by a consortium of universities and scientific organizations from Canada, China, India and Japan.