The University of Arizona

Colossal telescope coming into focus

Tucson.com July 2015 | We all know the impossible triangle of projects. Trying to go fast and cheap at the same time rarely ends up with a good product and, more often than not, is not as fast as planned anyway. LBT was supposed to be cheap and to move fast.

— LBT2020 draft report

The Large Binocular Telescope on Mount Graham is controversial, complex, expensive and beset by weather that kept it shuttered for half its available nights last year.

Now, 20 years after the University of Arizona received permission to build what Nobel Prize-winning astronomer Brian Schmidt calls “the most complex astronomical instrument on Earth,” it is beginning to produce the dazzling science it has always promised.

Initially, construction of the LBT was delayed by lawsuits over environmental and cultural issues. Its completion was stalled by slowly developing technology, lack of funding and instrument mismatches.  more>