We visited the Magellan Observatory at Las Campanas, which is visible from La Silla, en route our trips to La Silla (Diary 1) and Paranal (Diary 2). This observatory is sponsored by a number of US institutions including the Carnegie Institute and Harvard, MIT, U of Michigan, and the U of Arizona.
The two Magellan telescopes were built in 2000 and 2002, using 6.5 meter mirrors fabricated at the U of Arizona mirror lab (which our FAW group toured in January). Nearby is the mountaintop where the Giant Magellan Telescope will be built; it will have seven 8.4 meter mirrors in one structure!
These mirrors are all made with the spin-cast technique of Roger Angel, first used to make the VATT mirror more than 20 years ago.