Latest Optical telescope Stories

2011-04-14 08:02:35

It takes two unique types of mirrors working together to see farther back in time and space than ever before, and engineers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center have just received one of each type. Primary and Secondary Mirror Engineering Design Units (EDUs) have recently arrived at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. from Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, Calif. and are undergoing examination and testing. When used on the James Webb Space Telescope those...

2011-03-22 10:30:00

The James Webb Space Telescope has a unique shield to protect its sensitive instruments from the heat and light of the sun. The sunshield is like an umbrella popping open on the shores of the cosmos that allows the instruments beneath it to see far into the universe. Like a beach umbrella protects people from the sun's heat and ultraviolet radiation, the sunshield protects the telescope and the sensitive infrared instruments that fly beneath the Webb telescope's sunshield from our sun's heat...

2011-03-16 09:40:00

New-born stars wreak havoc in their nursery A new image from ESO's Very Large Telescope gives a close-up view of the dramatic effects new-born stars have on the gas and dust from which they formed. Although the stars themselves are not visible, material they have ejected is colliding with the surrounding gas and dust clouds and creating a surreal landscape of glowing arcs, blobs and streaks. The star-forming region NGC 6729 is part of one of the closest stellar nurseries to the Earth and...

2011-01-19 10:04:20

This ethereal-looking image of the Orion Nebula was captured using the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at the La Silla Observatory, Chile. This nebula is much more than just a pretty face, offering astronomers a close-up view of a massive star-forming region to help advance our understanding of stellar birth and evolution. The data used for this image were selected by Igor Chekalin (Russia), who participated in ESO's Hidden Treasures 2010 astrophotography competition....

2011-01-12 09:06:33

ESO's Hidden Treasures 2010 astrophotography competition attracted nearly 100 entries, and ESO is delighted to announce the winners. Hidden Treasures gave amateur astronomers the opportunity to search ESO's vast archives of astronomical data for a well-hidden cosmic gem. Astronomy enthusiast Igor Chekalin from Russia won the first prize in this difficult but rewarding challenge "” the trip of a lifetime to ESO's Very Large Telescope at Paranal, Chile. The pictures of the Universe that...

2010-12-10 13:55:50

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope is a wonder of modern engineering. As the planned successor to the Hubble Space telescope, even the smallest of parts on this giant observatory will play a critical role in its performance. A new video takes viewers behind the Webb's mirrors to investigate "actuators," one component that will help Webb focus on some of the earliest objects in the universe. The video called "Got Your Back" is part of an on-going video series about the Webb telescope called...

2010-11-29 14:04:16

Among the latest winners of the Kavli Prize are three scientists who have received NSF funding over the past several years Among the latest winners of the Kavli Prize are three scientists who have received NSF funding over the past several years. The Kavli Prize is awarded each year by the Kavli Foundation to scientists "whose discoveries have dramatically expanded human understanding in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience;" prizes are presented to researchers in each of...

2010-08-15 09:39:31

A new report by the National Research Council identifies the highest- priority research activities for astronomy and astrophysics in the next decade that will "set the nation firmly on the path to answering profound questions about the cosmos." The decadal survey -- the Research Council's sixth -- prioritizes activities based on their ability to advance science in key areas, and for the first time also takes into account factors such as risks in technical readiness, schedule, and cost. The...

2010-06-20 07:15:00

A telescope in Arizona has taken the sharpest pictures yet of deep space from Earth. This new system provides a level of clarity never seen before. The technology uses adaptive optics, which is a mechanism that allows a telescope's mirror to bend in order to compensate for the blurring of light as it passes through the Earth's atmosphere. LBT scientists said the new system is installed on the $120 million Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) on Mount Graham in Arizona.  The system is...

2010-06-16 15:05:48

The next generation of adaptive optics has arrived at the Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona, providing astronomers with a new level of image sharpness never before seen. Developed in a collaboration between Italy's Arcetri Observatory of the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, or INAF, and the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory, this technology represents a remarkable step forward for astronomy. "This is an incredibly exciting time as this new adaptive optics system allows us to...

Latest Optical telescope Reference Libraries

2010-09-24 17:50:57

A telescope, designed to aid the observation of remote objects, collects some form of electromagnetic radiation (such as visible light). The Netherlands developed the first known practical telescope in the 17th century. The term "telescope" was termed in order to describe Galileo's instruments in 1611. However, Galileo was not the inventor of the telescope. It was Hans Lippershey, Zacharias Janssen, and Jacob Metius who are credited with the creation of the telescope. In 1668, Isaac Newton...

2004-10-19 04:45:43

Very Large Telescope -- The Very Large Telescope (VLT) consist of four optical telescopes that have 8.4 meter aperture. The VLT is a project of the European Southern Observatory organization. It is located at the Paranal Observatory on Cerro Paranal, a 2,635-m high mountain in the Atacama desert in northern Chile. The VLT consists of a cluster four of large telescopes, and an interferometer (VLTI) which will be used to resolve fine features. The telescopes have been named after the...

2004-10-19 04:45:43

Telescope -- A telescope is an instrument composed of one or more lenses or mirrors to gather and focus electromagnetic radiation. Telescopes increase the observed angular size of objects, as well as their apparent brightness. The largest telescopes are used in astronomy. A telescope was first turned on the sky by Galileo Galilei, the Italian scientist. (Telescopes used for non-astronomical purposes may be called "transits," "monoculars," "binoculars," "camera lenses," or "spyglasses".)...

2004-10-19 04:45:43

Adaptive Optics -- Adaptive optics is a technology to improve the performance of Earth-based telescopes, reversing the effect of atmospheric distortions. When light from a star or another astronomical object enters the Earth's atmosphere, the different temperature layers and different wind speeds distort and move the image in various ways (see seeing for a proper discussion). The net result is that an 8 meters or 10 meters telescope (like the VLT or Keck), while theoretically capable...

2004-10-19 04:45:43

Active Optics -- Active optics is a relatively new technology for astronomic telescopes. Most modern telescopes are reflectors, with the primary element being a very large mirror. Historically, a fixed weight-to-diameter relation was used to build these mirrors, limiting their maximum diameter to 5 or 6 meters (200 or 230 inches), like in the Palomar Observatory. A new generation of telescopes uses instead very thin mirrors, uncapable of sustaining themselves. Instead, an array of...

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