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Top 5 Optical Telescopes
By: Kiana Gathers and Mary Beth Garrett
W.M Keck Observatory
 Located in Mauna Kea, Hawaii
 Two telescopes: Keck 1 and Keck 2
 Expected to see much farther than we can see
today and help to discover how the universe
began (later proved to exceed expectations)
 Largest and most scientifically productive
 Operates twin 10-meter optical/infrared
 primary mirrors are 10 meters in diameter and
are each composed of 36 hexagonal segments
that work in concert as a single piece of
reflective glass
 Both telescopes have laser guide star adaptive
 Confirmed 41 of the exo-planets discovered by
Kepler and determined the masses of 16
 Obtained the first-ever spatially resolved
images of a DLA galaxy
Gran Telescopio de Canarias
 Located on La Palma
 Allowed the study of the nature of black holes,
the formation history of stars and galaxies in
the early universe, the physics of distant
planets around other stars, and the nature of
dark matter and dark energy in the universe
 Primary mirror consists of 36 individual
hexagonal segments that together act as a
single mirror
 Allows rotational movements of the telescope
along a horizontal and vertical axis. This
movement has to be extremely precise in order
to keep the stars projected stably onto the
 Discovered the whirlpool galaxy M51 and the
Eskimo Nebula
Large Binocular Telescope
 Located on 10,700-foot Mount Graham in
the Pinaleno Mountains of southeastern
 The telescope design has two 8.4-meter
(28 ft) mirrors mounted on a common base
 Discovered a galaxy cluster 2XMM
J083026+5241332 which was over 7 billion
light years away from Earth.
 Detected a 26th magnitude afterglow from
the gamma ray burst GRB 070125
Southern African Large Telescope
Located in Sutherland, South Africa
Designed mainly for spectroscopy
Design comes from the HET
It enables imaging, spectroscopic, and
polarimetric analysis of the radiation from
astronomical objects out of reach of
northern hemisphere telescopes
Primary mirror is composed of an array of
mirrors designed to act as a single larger
The mirror is made up of 91 identical
hexagonal segments
Is fixed at an elevation angle of 55° and
moves only in azimuth;
Confirmed evidence for a very strange
new planetary system, where two giant
planets are orbiting a close pair of "suns"
Hobby-Eberly Telescope
 Located in Mount Locke, West Texas on
the Davis Mountains
 Designed specifically for spectroscopy, the
decoding of light from stars and galaxies to
study their properties
 Composed of 91 hexagonal mirror
segments which must be aligned to form a
perfect reflecting surface
 Is fixed at an elevation angle of 55° and
moves only in azimuth
 Diameter is 11 meters
 The mushroom-shaped tower to the side of
the HET dome contains a laser-alignment
system that works to keep the segments in
proper alignment
 Discovered three planets -- each orbiting
its own giant, dying star