A novel Antarctic telescope with 16-m diameter mirrors would far outperform the Hubble Space Telescope, and could be built at a tiny fraction of its cost, says a scientist from the Anglo-Australian Observatory in Sydney, Australia.
Tests by a team from the University of New South Wales, reported in the journal ‘Nature’ this week [16 September], show that the ‘Dome C’ site in the Australian Antarctic Territory is by far the best place ever tested on Earth for doing infrared and optical astronomy. “A telescope there would perform as well as a much larger one anywhere else on Earth. It’s nearly as good as being in space”, said Dr. Will Saunders of the Anglo-Australian Observatory.
At the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation conference in Glasgow in June, Dr. Saunders presented a concept for an unusual telescope that’s well matched to the special conditions at Dome C, both in its optical design and in the way it’s built.
Helen Sim | alfa
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