1.73-m Plaskett Telescope mirror, photo by "Scratch" @ Scratchley.org

Two developments occurred recently to advance large telescopes and the study of the universe around us. Scientists in the U.S. completed the first of seven 8.4-metre mirrors for the Giant Magellan Telescope, under construction in Chile. Six of the mirrors will be arranged petal-like around the seventh, central mirror.

When construction is finished, the telescope will have four times the light-gathering capacity of instruments used today.

An event closer to the hearts of Victoria astronomers involves the Thirty-Metre Telescope. In November, state officials in Hawai’i recommended construction of the telescope on the state’s highest peak, Mauna Kea, be approved. The recommendation is a key step in the long, complicated process required to build atop Hawaii’s volcanoes.

The Thirty-Metre Telescope will feature a light-collecting mirror that is—surprise!—30 metres across. When it begins operation in 2020, it will be one of the world’s most powerful optical and infrared telescopes.

With telescopes, size matters.

Continue reading….



More info:

Thirty-Metre Telescope

Giant Magellan Telescope

Plaskett Telescope

John Stanley Plaskett

Hooker Telescope


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