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Courtesy of TMT - tertiary and primary mirrorsCourtesy of TMT, artist's renderingCourtesy of TMT - primary mirrorCourtesy of TMT -  concept illustration of the TMT Observatory.Courtesy of TMT - rendering of complexCourtesy of TMT - artist's interpretation
The world’s most powerful telescope

Thirty Meter Telescope

The Thirty Meter Telescope will help unlock mysteries about the nature of the universe.

The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) holds the potential for discoveries that will benefit not just the international science community, but all of humankind. Once completed, TMT will be the most powerful telescope ever constructed and will transform the study of the universe by enabling discoveries we haven’t yet imagined.

We provided an early investment of $50 million towards designing TMT in 2003, and in 2007 we pledged an additional $200 million toward completion of the design phase and partial cost of early construction near the summit of the Maunakea volcano in Hawaii. 

TMT will allow astronomers to peer towards the farthest reaches of the observable universe, detect and study light from the earliest stars and galaxies, analyze the formation of planets and test many of the fundamental laws of physics. It will be a path-breaking scientific tool that can help unlock mysteries—and stimulate new questions—about the nature of the universe.

An unprecedented collaboration of scientific and academic organizations from the United States, Canada, Japan, China and India, TMT is scheduled to begin scientific operations in 2021.


Recent Grants

$8,250,000.00 Nov 2013 Thirty Meter Telescope Early Construction Phase California Institute of Technology
$8,250,000.00 Nov 2013 Thirty Meter Telescope Early Construction Phase University of California
More Grants
Courtesy of TMT


Vicki Chandler, Ph.D., Chief Program Officer, Science

Vicki spearheads the foundation’s Science Program. She studied biochemistry for her undergraduate and doctoral degrees at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of …

Aanika Carroll, Program Associate, Science

Aanika provides strategic, research and operational support for the Science Learning portfolio. She also supports the Caltech and Thirty-Meter Telescope commitments. Previously, she helped launch the…