Skip to comments.Construction of world's largest optical telescope approved
Posted on 04/14/2013 8:36:59 PM PDT by Jyotishi
The massive Thirty Meter Telescope will be able to image objects 13 billion light years away, near the beginning of time.
Set atop Mauna Kea, the Thirty Meter Telescope will be able to observe planets outside our solar system. (Credit: Courtesy TMT Observatory Corporation)
If you love eye-popping images of space, here's welcome news: the Hawaiian Board of Land and Natural Resources has backed building what's to be the world's largest, most powerful optical telescope above the clouds atop the volcano Mauna Kea.
The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will have a primary mirror of 492 segments measuring some 100 feet across, giving it the power to image objects 13 billion light years away, near the beginning of the universe.
It may also photograph planets outside our solar system with unprecedented detail.
The focus of a collaboration among scientists in California, Canada, Japan, China, and India, the instrument will have 144 times the light-collecting area of the Hubble Space Telescope and nearly 10 times that of one of the Keck telescopes.
Despite opposition from some environmentalists and native Hawaiian groups, construction of the next-generation observatory will begin in a year and is expected to cost over $1 billion. The TMT is slated to begin scientific studies in 2021.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.cnet.com ...
$1 billion, wow. but worth it i bet.
i wonder how they make the glass that large? in pieces that focus on someting like a digital camera or something?
anhyone know how the technology works?
Use Bill Gates’ and Warren Buffets’ money, not mine, to build this stupid thing.
The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will have a primary mirror of 492 segments
i looked at the design spec. its not glass, but a series of highly polished mirrors that all reflect onto an electrical eye that captures the image. i cant imagine the precision it must take to make the mirrors, keep them polished in the outdoors on a mountain top a nd then achieve the precision neccesary to focus over 400 of them EXACTLY so you can look out millions of light years. really cool
If we had kept going back to the Moon and established a base we could have put a telescope or three on it.
Stupid? Really? Scared of it Rembrandt? It is modern day exploration...
It is, in a word, AMAZING!
Mauna Kea is a volcano. One eruption, telescope and $1 billion dollars gone...of course that is a better deal than any of Obama’s bailouts.
Yeah, sure, uh huh, yep.
And just what advantage and how could this top what we get from the hubble space telescope?
Mauna Kea erupted about 4,500 years ago.
It's much larger and thus has far more light-gathering capability than Hubble.
And adaptive optics techniques that constantly and automatically compensate for atmospheric distortion mow greatly reduce the advantage of optical space telescopes over ground-based ones.
The Hubble Space Telescope has a primary mirror with a with an eight foot diameter mirror. Compare this to the 100 foot mirror of this new telescope.
If they could put this telescope on the Moon just think about how far it could peer into the universe.
I imagine the process is similar to this.
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