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Archive for September 5th, 2010

Keck Observatories[51]

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One of the best adventures we had on the Big Island of Hawaii was to book a Mauna Kea sunset tour. The tour took us in four wheel drive vans to the summit to watch the sun set and learn about the observatories, geology, and ecology of Mauna Kea.

We stopped before the sunset at the summit and our tour guides described the various observatories that have been built there. The summit of Mauna Kea is an ideal location for telescopes because it is above the cloud layer, low in atmospheric and light pollution, and the air is dry and thin – all qualities that improve the quality of astronomical.

This picture shows the twin Keck Observatories. The telescopes are unique because they each use multiple, separate hexagonal mirrors that operate as if they were a single contiguous mirror. Furthermore, the two observatories can be used to simultaneously image the same celestial object to produce a higher resolution image than can be achieved with a single telescope.


Written by arangodan

September 5, 2010 at 8:30 am