Latest W. M. Keck Observatory Stories

2009-07-24 06:50:18

A team of astronomers using the Gemini North telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawai'i obtained a new infrared image of Jupiter on Wednesday night, July 22, showing its new scar still glowing in mid-infrared wavelengths. The image complements earlier infrared images, including two taken July 20, shortly after the bruise was noticed, with the Keck II telescope and NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility "” both a stone's throw from the Gemini telescope on Mauna Kea. Jupiter's new glowing bruise, some...

2009-07-24 06:20:00

A key tool to unlocking the secrets of the universe will soon be unveiled by Spain on the Canary Islands. It's called the world's biggest scope for visible and infrared light. The Great Canary Telescope (GTC) is as powerful as four million human eyes combined. It promises the ability to look into the darkest and most distant corners of space. Spain's King Juan Carlos will on Friday officially inaugurate the telescope, which cost more than $143 million dollars to build. The observatory helps...

2009-07-22 14:10:00

A consortium of U.S. and Canadian universities on Tuesday announced it has decided to build the world's largest telescope in Hawaii. The telescope, costing $1.2 billion, should allow scientists to see some 13 billion light years away. This is a distance so great, and so far back in time, that researchers should be able to watch the first stars and galaxies as they form. Its mirror will stretch almost 100-feet in diameter (30-meters), which is about three times the diameter of the current...

2008-11-14 00:05:00

Two teams of astronomers have captured the first images of a distant solar system that appears to be orbiting a star. The images show three planets orbiting a star named HR8799, which is 140 light years away and about 1.5 times the size of our sun. The fourth gaseous planet orbits a separate star. The three planets in orbit around HR8799 range in size from five to 13 times the mass of Jupiter and are probably only about 60 million years old. They decrease in size away from the parent star in...

2008-10-22 09:00:17

Xirrus, Inc., the Wi-Fi "Power-Play" that delivers the most coverage, bandwidth, and throughput in the industry on a per device and system basis, announces the deployment of their Xirrus 802.11abg+n Wi-Fi Arrays at the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, enabling the replacement of switched Ethernet to the desktop at the facility. Located on the 13,796-foot Mauna Kea summit in Hawaii, the twin Keck Telescopes are the world's largest optical and infrared telescopes and are used to probe the...

2008-06-24 02:25:00

By Jeremy Boren Lou Coban has what many people would consider the ultimate office: plenty of space, little supervision and a stellar view. He's encouraged to clock in around noon because his work as administrator and electronics guru of the Allegheny Observatory usually takes him late into Riverview Park's starry evenings. "Most people have an office; I have a whole building," Coban said as he gazed at the 96-year-old observatory's largest telescope. The 47-foot-long Thaw Memorial...

2008-06-02 15:41:07

Astronomers have used ultrasharp images obtained with the Keck Telescope and Hubble Space Telescope to determine for the first time the masses of the coldest class of "failed stars," a.k.a. brown dwarfs. With masses as light as 3 percent the mass of the sun, these are the lowest mass free-floating objects ever weighed outside the solar system. The observations are a major step in testing the theoretical predictions of objects that cannot generate their own internal energy, both brown dwarfs...

2008-05-22 11:15:00

Increased turbulence and storms first observed on Jupiter more than two years ago are still raging, according to astronomers from the University of California, Berkeley, and the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, who snapped high-resolution pictures of the planet earlier this month. Captured with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the 10-meter Keck II telescope, this so-called "major upheaval" on Jupiter involves stunning changes in the planet's atmosphere, said lead astronomer Imke de...

2008-03-13 15:35:00

Researchers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered large amounts of simple organic gases and water vapor in a possible planet-forming region around an infant star, along with evidence that these molecules were created there. They've also found water in the same zone around two other young stars. By pushing the telescope's capabilities to a new level, astronomers now have a better view of the earliest stages of planetary formation, which may help shed light on the origins of our...

2008-03-12 16:10:00

Study provides clues about the formation of Earth-like planetsIn a find that sheds light on how Earth-like planets may form, astronomers this week reported finding the first evidence of small, sandy particles orbiting a newborn solar system at about the same distance as the Earth orbits the sun. The report will be published online this week by the journal Nature."Precisely how and when planets form is an open question," said study co-author Christopher Johns-Krull, assistant professor of...

Latest W. M. Keck Observatory Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:43

Interferometry -- Interferometry is the applied science of combining two or more input points of a data type, such as optical, and combine these data to form a greater picture based on the combination of the two sources. This technique is the basis for proposed radio telescope arrays, which spread out upon a wide area of hundreds of miles, can together produce a picture with resolution similar or equivalent to a single telescope with the diameter of the combined spread of telescopes. The...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Keck Observatory -- From a remote outpost on the summit of Hawaii's dormant Mauna Kea volcano, astronomers at the W.M. Keck Observatory probe the deepest regions of the Universe with unprecedented power and precision. Their instruments are the twin Keck Telescopes, the world's largest optical and and infrared telescopes. Each stands eight stories tall and weighs 300 tons, yet operates with nanometer precision. At the heart of each Keck Telescope is a revolutionary primary mirror. Ten...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Mauna Kea Observatories -- Hawaii is Earth's connecting point to the rest of the Universe. The summit of Mauna Kea on the Island of Hawaii hosts the world's largest astronomical observatory, with telescopes operated by astronomers from eleven countries. The combined light-gathering power of the telescopes on Mauna Kea is fifteen times greater than that of the Palomar telescope in California -- for many years the world's largest -- and sixty times greater than that of the Hubble Space...

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Word of the Day
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'