Events at Towson University

VIRTUAL: Building the Giant Magellan Telescope  - Planetarium Show

VIRTUAL: Building the Giant Magellan Telescope - Planetarium Show

Speaker:      Dr. James Fanson, Project Manager for the Giant Magellan Telescope

Topic:     The Giant Magellan Telescope is a next-generation ground-based telescope that promises to revolutionize our understanding and view of the universe. GMT is poised to enable breakthrough discoveries in cosmology, black holes, dark matter, dark energy, and the search for life beyond our solar system. The telescope combines seven 8.4-meter (27 feet) diameter circular segments to form an effective aperture 24.5 meters in diameter. GMT will be located at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile’s Atacama Desert. Funding for the project comes from an international consortium of partner institutions, governments and private donors.

Dr. James Fanson grew up with a lifelong interest in astronomy and space exploration. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin and a doctorate at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, he joined NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, specializing in space telescopes, and continued to serve there for 28 years. During this time, Fanson was a member of the team that fixed the Hubble Space Telescope’s blurred vision in 1993. He later served as lead engineer for the design of the Spitzer Space Telescope and project manager for the Galaxy Evolution Explorer, two telescopes launched into space in 2003. After an extensive career with NASA, Jim now serves as Project Manager for the Giant Magellan Telescope since 2015.

Professor Christian Ready
Lecturer and Director, Watson-King Planetarium

Dial-In Information

Our March "planetarium show” will be streaming live this Friday night on the Launch Pad Astronomy YouTube channel; specifically at

NOTE: The linked site does not work with Internet Explorer.  The preferred browser is Chrome.

Friday, March 19, 2021 at 8:00pm

Virtual Event

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