Latest Optical telescope Stories
NASA's next moon rocket is still on the drawing board, but already scientists are dreaming up big new things to do with it.
Data from Venus Express, which has been revealing new and crucial details about our closest planetary neighbour, will now be augmented by synoptic data from a coordinated ground-based observation campaign.
European astronomy has received a tremendous boost with the decision from ESO's governing body to proceed with detailed studies for the European Extremely Large Telescope.
As astronomers increasingly link two telescopes as interferometers to reveal greater detail of distant stars, a Keck Observatory astronomer is showing the power of linking three or even more telescopes together.
Air Force scientists have figured out how to delicately fold a space telescope without mutilating it.
Five years after breaking ground on a South African mountaintop near the edge of the Kalahari desert, astronomers today (Sept. 1, 2005) released the first images captured by the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), now the equal of the world's largest optical telescope and a prized window to the night skies of the southern hemisphere.
Astronomers from across Europe today (July 7th) took a step closer to making their plans for a giant telescope a reality when they unveiled the scientific case for an Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) - a monster telescope with a light capturing mirror of between 50 and 100 metres, dwarfing all previous optical telescope facilities.
Through the night of 4 July 2005, all European Southern Observatory (ESO) telescopes observed the effects of the impact on Comet 9P/Tempel 1. At sunset in Chile, the seven telescopes of the La Silla Paranal Observatory went into action.
The largest ground-based optical telescopes in use today use mirrors that are 10 m (33 ft) across. But the prospects for future Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs) are looking up.
A team of astronomers from the U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO), Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) have successfully used the ultra high-resolution capability of the Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer (NPOI) to track the orbit of a binary star invisible to other ground- and space-based optical telescopes.
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...
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...
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".)...
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...
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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