Wendy Freedman

Astronomer
Wendy Freedman led the construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope, a massive earthbound observatory.

Why you should listen

Wendy Freedman and her colleagues raced to build the world’s first next-generation telescope. The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), in northern Chile, is one of three mega-telescopes currently under construction in the Atacama desert region (The others are the ALMA and the European Extremely Large Telescope, E-ELT).
 
The GMT will have 10 times more resolution than the Hubble Space Telescope. When it is finished, Freedman could be among those who answer one of astronomy’s greatest riddles: are there any other Earth-like planets out there? No stranger to big questions, Freedman and her colleagues at the Carnegie Observatories are also refining the measurement of the Hubble Constant, which could change our understanding of the speed of our expanding universe.

What others say

“Because it’s such a big telescope we can take images of very faint objects, further than we’ve seen before. We will actually be able to see the first objects to form in the universe. The first stars and galaxies.” — Houston Chronicle, 2011

More news and ideas from Wendy Freedman

Live from TEDGlobal

Through the looking glass: A recap of session 8 of TEDGlobal 2014

October 9, 2014

In this session, “Lenses,” speakers look through cameras and new lenses — at subjects from the very, very big to the very, very small to the very, very far away. Wendy Freedman talks about a remote location in the Andes, far from the lights of civilization, where the stars can be seen clearly with the naked eye. In that location, […]

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Live from TEDGlobal

Lenses: A sneak peek of session 8 at TEDGlobal 2014

October 9, 2014

Lenses allow us to look at far away worlds and to examine our own more closely. In this session hidden social and scientific fabrics will be amplified by several orders of magnitude, bringing us a richer and more vibrant experience than the naked eye can see on its own. The speakers who’ll appear in this […]

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