Sunday, June 27, 2010

Astronomical frontiers.

Not much to write today, I spent most of the day resting and recovering from my sunburn of yesterday. In lieu of words, I offer this lovely semi-panorama from the summit of Mauna Kea ("semi-" because it covers only about 180 degrees):


You really need to click on this one to see it in a large version. And the lager version that you're seeing when you do is actually only 25% of the size of the original, which is 2,000 pixels tall and over 12,000 wide! (And takes up over 13 MB of space, which is why I created the scaled-down version.)

Assuming you've clicked on it and can make out the telescopes, from left to right we have the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT), the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO), the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT), the Submillimeter Array (SMA), Subaru, Keck I & II, NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF), the Canada-France-Hawai`i Telescope (CFHT), and finally Gemini North on the right. There are, in fact, only two telescopes on the summit that are not in this picture: the UH 2.2-meter `scope (directly behind me while taking this picture) and Hoku Ke`a, the new UH 0.9-meter telescope that was finally installed this semester (and just achieved first light on the 17th, I heard. It's hidden behind UKIRT in this picture).

(If anyone is having trouble identifying the telescopes, I'd be happy to create a labeled version for you. Just let me know.)

Addendum: I just now realized that while there are technically no more telescopes on the summit of Mauna Kea than were mentioned in the preceding paragraph, there is one more close to the summit. That one would be the Very Large Baseline Array telescope, which is pictured two posts prior to this one, on the entry for June 24.

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