Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Giant telescope will keep an eye on planets in other solar systems

05.01.2005


MIT astrophysicists and their colleagues are excited about the latest milestone toward developing a giant telescope that among other things will allow direct observations of planets orbiting stars in solar systems beyond ours.

On Dec. 13 the Carnegie Observatories of the Carnegie Institution signed an agreement with the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory Mirror Lab to produce the first mirror for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT). The telescope will have a diameter of about 25.4 meters or 83 feet--making it about as wide as an eight-story building is tall.

Slated for completion in 2016 at Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, the GMT will have 10 times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope enabling a variety of new projects and observations.



"At the very top of that list would be the direct observation of exo-planets around nearby stars and observation of objects yet younger (and therefore more distant) than the youngest objects observable today," said Paul Schechter, the William A. M. Burden Professor of Astrophysics, who leads the MIT group that is part of the eight-member consortium developing the GMT.

Other members are Carnegie Observatories, Harvard University, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, University of Arizona, University of Michigan, University of Texas at Austin, and Texas A&M University.

The new telescope will be composed of seven, 8.4-meter primary mirrors arranged in a floral pattern. It builds on the successful heritage of the two 6.5-meter Magellan telescopes, the first of which began science operations in early 2001. "The same individuals involved in the building of Magellan constitute the core of the GMT design group," Schechter said.

What role do ground-based telescopes play in the era of satellite telescopes like the Hubble? For one, said Schechter, "ground-based telescopes can be much bigger, which is important because a telescope’s light-gathering power is proportional to the square of its diameter. The Hubble is only 2.4 meters in diameter, and the next-generation space telescope, which ought to be finished at about the same time as the GMT, will be smaller than the present Magellan telescopes."

Detailed information about the design of the GMT and the science that it will perform is located on the web (http://www.gmto.org/).

Elizabeth Thomson | MIT News Office
Further information:
http://www.gmto.org/
http://www.mit.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form
18.08.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht Astrophysicists explain the mysterious behavior of cosmic rays
18.08.2017 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>