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Next Generation Big Telescopes

fredymac

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The current single biggest telescope in the world is the Gran Telescopio observatory in the Canary Islands. It is a Keck type design and is 10.4M across (max edge diameter) which slightly exceeds the 10M diameter of Keck. You don't hear too much from this telescope however. Everything else is in the 8M class with the largest being the 8.4M primaries of the Large Binocular telescope in Arizona.

The new generation of big telescopes are intended to gather enough light to do spectroscopic analysis of exo planet atmospheres. These include:

Giant Magellan Telescope: 30 meter diameter using 7 mirrors of 8M diameter situated in Chile. This project is much further along than the others with most of the primaries already cast.

30 Meter Telescope: a Keck design telescope for Mauna Kea (on the site of the current 3.5M Canada-France telescope).

Exceedingly Large Telescope: 39M Keck type telescope situated in Chile.

Finally, there is the new 4M solar telescope on Haleakala which just started operation. It is intended to peer into individual convection cells of the sun's surface. In general, you get around 1000W/m2 of light so you have around 13,000W of sunlight being collected. This is dumped (via a deliberately low reflectance/high transmittance) coating on the secondary.

Giant Magellan Telescope

30 Meter Telescope

Extremely Large Telescope

Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope First Images
 

fredymac

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Adding the Vera Rubin (formerly Large Synoptic Survey Telescope) undergoing hardware integration in Chile. They just finished building the camera. The Rubin is not "giant" but is still big at 8.4 meters. Like most US built telescopes, the mirror was cast at the University of Arizona mirror lab.

LSST Telescope

LSST Camera

U of A Mirror Lab
 

FighterJock

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Adding the Vera Rubin (formerly Large Synoptic Survey Telescope) undergoing hardware integration in Chile. They just finished building the camera. The Rubin is not "giant" but is still big at 8.4 meters. Like most US built telescopes, the mirror was cast at the University of Arizona mirror lab.

LSST Telescope

LSST Camera

U of A Mirror Lab

Interesting information fredymac, in all my years being interested in astronomy I did not know that big observatory mirrors were cast in Arizona in the USA, especially when the telescope in question is the Vera Rubin which is part of the European Southern Observatory. I would have thought that the ESO would have built their own observatory mirror casting facility somewhere in Europe.
 

fredymac

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Interesting information fredymac, in all my years being interested in astronomy I did not know that big observatory mirrors were cast in Arizona in the USA, especially when the telescope in question is the Vera Rubin which is part of the European Southern Observatory. I would have thought that the ESO would have built their own observatory mirror casting facility somewhere in Europe.


You may be mistaking the LSST/Rubin telescope for some other observatory. This is a US project.
 

FighterJock

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Oops, Sorry about that fredymac. I did not know that the Vera Rubin Observatory was a US project. There are so many new observatory's getting built these day's that it is easy to get mixed up. :oops:
 

chimeric oncogene

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How's Vera Rubin LSST going? Have they figured out the really complicated Starlink auto cropping software yet?
 
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