Large Binocular Telescope

Large Binocular Telescope

The Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) is located on 10,700-foot Mount Graham in the Pinaleno Mountains of southeastern Arizona and is a part of the Mount Graham International Observatory. The LBT is one of the world’s highest resolution and most technologically advanced optical telescopes.

The Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) is a collaboration between the Italian astronomical community (represented by the Instituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)), The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, the LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft in Germany (Max-Planck-Institut for Astronomie in Heidelberg, Landessternwarte in Heidelberg, Astrophysikalisches Institut in Potsdam, Max-Planck-Institut for Extraterrestrische Physik in Munich, and Max-Planck-Institut for Radioastronomie in Bonn), The Ohio State University, Research Corporation in Tucson, and the University of Notre Dame.

The goal of the LBT project is to construct a binocular telescope consisting of two 8.4-meter mirrors on a common mount. This telescope will be equivalent in light-gathering power to a single 11.8 meter instrument. Because of its binocular arrangement, the telescope will have a resolving power (ultimate image sharpness) corresponding to a 22.8-meter telescope. The feasibility study for the project was completed in early 1989. In 1992, the original partners (Arizona, Italy and Research Corporation) decided to proceed to the construction phase even though the funds available were sufficient only to complete a “reduced first light” telescope with only one primary mirror in place. With the addition of LBTB and Ohio State University to the consortium in 1997, the project began to construct the full binocular telescope. The telescope was completed in Italy and shipped to Arizona in the summer of 2002.

Observatory postal address:

LBT Observatory, University of Arizona
933 N. Cherry Ave, Room 552
Tucson, AZ 85721

Telephone: (520) 626-5231
Fax: (520) 626-9333

Last updated or reviewed March 2, 2011.