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Space Science

Adaptive Thirty Meter Telescope Sees Progress 61

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the thats-a-whole-lotta-space dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Caltech and the University of California have been making progress toward the development and construction of the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) with the recent $200 million commitment from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The core of the TMT Observatory will be a wide-field, alt-az Ritchey-Chretien telescope with a 492 segment, 30 meter diameter primary mirror, a fully active secondary mirror and an articulated tertiary mirror. TMT will be the first ground-based astronomy telescope designed with adaptive optics as an integral system element that will sense atmospheric turbulence in real-time, correct the optical beam of the telescope to remove its effect, and enable true diffraction-limited imaging on the ground. TMT will have 144 times the collecting area of the Hubble Space Telescope and a spatial resolution at near-infrared and longer wavelengths more than ten times better, equivalent to observing above the Earth's atmosphere for many observations at a fraction of the cost of a space-based observatory. TMT will reach further and see more clearly than previous telescopes by a factor of 10 to 100 depending on the observation and will be a fundamental tool for the investigation of large-scale structure in the young universe including the era in which most of the stars and heavy elements were formed."
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Adaptive Thirty Meter Telescope Sees Progress

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