Latest Optical telescope Stories

2009-04-24 13:35:00

The largest-ever gamma-ray telescope is set to collect its "first light" at an opening ceremony on Saturday. Located on the island of Palma, the Major Atmospheric Gamma-ray Imaging Cerenkov Magic II will replace its predecessor, the Magic telescope. When it was built, the first Magic telescope was the largest gamma-ray telescope in the world, until 2003, when the four-telescope High-energy Stereoscopic System (Hess) was unveiled. Now, Magic's successor will reclaim the title once more, but...

2009-04-23 13:07:10

An international team of astronomers has used a U.S. radio telescope to study the brightest galaxies that the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope can see. Yuri Kovalev at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Germany said the study solidifies the link between an active galaxy's gamma-ray emissions and its powerful radio-emitting jets. Kovalev and colleagues used the world's largest radio telescope -- the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array -- a set of 10 radio...

2009-01-14 09:30:00

In the game of astronomy, size matters. To get crisp, clear images of things billions of light years away, a telescope needs to be big. "The bigger the better," says astronomer Harley Thronson, who leads advanced concept studies in astronomy at the Goddard Space Flight Center. And he thinks "NASA's new Ares V rocket is going to completely change the rules of the game." Ares V is the rocket that will deliver NASA's next manned lunar lander to the moon as well as all the cargo needed for a...

2008-11-21 09:10:00

A team of French astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope have discovered an object located very close to the star Beta Pictoris, and which apparently lies inside its disc. With a projected distance from the star of only 8 times the Earth-Sun distance, this object is most likely the giant planet suspected from the peculiar shape of the disc and the previously observed infall of comets onto the star. It would then be the first image of a planet that is as close to its host star as Saturn...

2008-10-02 08:05:00

A record two-hour observation of Jupiter using a superior technique to remove atmospheric blur has produced the sharpest whole-planet picture ever taken from the ground. The series of 265 snapshots obtained with the Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics Demonstrator (MAD) prototype instrument mounted on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) reveal changes in Jupiter's smog-like haze, probably in response to a planet-wide upheaval more than a year ago. Being able to correct wide field images for...

2008-06-04 13:20:00

Scientists working at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., have concocted an innovative recipe for giant telescope mirrors on the Moon. To make a mirror that dwarfs anything on Earth, just take a little bit of carbon, throw in some epoxy, and add lots of lunar dust."We could make huge telescopes on the moon relatively easily, and avoid the large expense of transporting a large mirror from Earth," says Peter Chen of NASA Goddard and the Catholic University of America, which is...

2008-05-28 09:05:00

Today marks the 10th anniversary since First Light with ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), the most advanced optical telescope in the world. Since then, the VLT has evolved into a unique suite of four 8.2-m Unit Telescopes (UTs) equipped with no fewer than 13 state-of-the-art instruments, and four 1.8-m moveable Auxiliary Telescopes (ATs). The telescopes can work individually, and they can also be linked together in groups of two or three to form a giant 'interferometer' (VLTI), allowing...

2008-05-02 14:25:00

Cerro Paranal, home of ESO's Very Large Telescope, is certainly one of the best astronomical sites on the planet. Stunning images, obtained by ESO staff at Paranal, of the green and blue flashes, as well as of the so-called 'Gegenschein', are real cases in point.The Earth's atmosphere is a gigantic prism that disperses sunlight. In the most ideal atmospheric conditions, such as those found regularly above Cerro Paranal, this will lead to the appearance of so-called green and blue flashes at...

2008-04-17 10:55:00

A 4.1-metre diameter primary mirror, a vital part of the world's newest and fastest survey telescope, VISTA (the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy) has been delivered to its new mountaintop home at Cerro Paranal, Chile. The mirror will now be coupled with a small camera for initial testing prior to installing the main camera in June. Full scientific operations are due to start early next year. VISTA will form part of ESO's Very Large Telescope facility.The mirror arrived...

2007-07-13 11:25:00

SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, Canary Islands -- One of the world's most powerful telescopes will begin spying on the universe on Friday, using its 34-foot wide mirror to search for planets similar to our own from a mountaintop on one of Spain's Canary Islands. Perched atop a 7,800 foot peak on the Atlantic island of La Palma, the Great Canary Telescope will receive its so-called "first light" - when the telescope is pointed toward the sky and focusses on the North Star - Friday night. "The GTC will...

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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Word of the Day
  • A unit of saved energy.
Coined by Amory Lovins, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute as a contraction of negative watt on the model of similar compounds like megawatt.