Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Giant Telescope Will Keep An Eye On Planets In Other Solar Systems

Date:
December 28, 2004
Source:
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
Summary:
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.

Schematic shows the 25.4-meter Giant Magellan Telescope next to a 6.5-meter Magellan telescope. The 83-foot giant telescope is as wide as an eight-story building is tall.
Credit: Image courtesy of Carnegie Institution

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.

Related Articles


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/).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. "Giant Telescope Will Keep An Eye On Planets In Other Solar Systems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 December 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041219170155.htm>.
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. (2004, December 28). Giant Telescope Will Keep An Eye On Planets In Other Solar Systems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041219170155.htm
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. "Giant Telescope Will Keep An Eye On Planets In Other Solar Systems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041219170155.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA Holds Memorial to Remember Astronauts

NASA Holds Memorial to Remember Astronauts

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) NASA is remembering 17 astronauts who were killed in the line of duty and dozens more who have died since the agency&apos;s beginning. A remembrance ceremony was held Thursday at NASA&apos;s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Rumble (Jan. 27, 2015) Scientists working with NASA&apos;s Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California discovered an unexpected moon while observing asteroid 2004 BL86 during its recent flyby past Earth. Credit to &apos;NASA JPL&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mars Rover Opportunity Celebrates 11-Year Anniversary

Mars Rover Opportunity Celebrates 11-Year Anniversary

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) Eleven years ago NASA&apos;s Opportunity rover touched down on Mars for what was only supposed to be a 90-day mission. Since then it has traveled 25.9 miles (41.7 kilometers), further than any other off-Earth surface vehicle has ever driven. Credit to &apos;NASA&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins