UA’s Very Own

Sourced from UA News

In January of 2017, it was announced that physicist Robert N. Shelton would be the new president of the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization.

Shelton is the former 19th president of the University of Arizona, serving from 2006-2011, as well as the former director of the annual Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix. Since 2014, Shelton has also been president of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement.

As president of the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization (GMTO), Shelton will work with the board of directors for the organization in order to complete the construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope, which is scheduled to begin operation in 2025.

When completed, the Giant Magellan Telescope will be the largest telescope in the world and will be able to take pictures in better resolution than the Hubble Space Telescope. The 24.5 meter telescope is a member of the Extremely Large Telescopes based on Earth’s surface; the largest telescopes in the world, as of today, boast only about 10 meters.

The University of Arizona is also a leading institution in the telescope’s completion.

“With the UA being one of the founders of GMTO, and all the mirrors for the telescope being fabricated at the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab, the UA really is at the core of making GMTO a success,” Shelton said during an interview with UA News.

Shelton received his Bachelor’s degree in physics from Stanford University and his Master’s and Doctorate from the University of California, San Diego. He is an expert in condensed matter physics.

“I am very grateful to Robert Shelton for agreeing to bring his extensive scientific, administrative, philanthropic and leadership experience to a project that aspires to transform our understanding of the universe,” said Dr. Buell Jannuzi, director of UA’s Steward Observatory, to UA News. “With the outstanding team assembled by the founding institutions, and under Robert’s leadership, I’m excited about the prospects for GMTO.”


To read the article by UA News, click here.

To learn more about Dr. Shelton and the Giant Magellan Telescope, visit their website.