Tag Archives: telescope

Ground-breaking for LSST takes place in Chile

The official launch of construction of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) took place today in Chile.

Today, collaborators from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Chile’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Technológica (CONICYT) and several other international public-private partners will gather outside La Serena, Chile, for a traditional Chilean stone-laying ceremony to celebrate the construction launch of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST).

They did the same kind of ceremony in Hawaii for the ground-breaking of the Thirty Meter Telescope, but things have gone very sour since. In Chile, however, I expect no problems. I wonder which local community has more sense.

Europe approves construction of giant telescope

Europe has approved the construction of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), which when completed will be the largest ground-based telescope.

The E-ELT will have a mirror 39 meters across, almost four times bigger than the world’s largest telescope today.

A word to the wise: This very month Sky & Telescope’s cover article, written by yours truly, describes the many difficulties the world’s present generation of giant telescopes have faced. Four out of five have not produced the science promised. Two of the four were dogged by so many technical problems that they required complete reconstruction. The builders of E-ELT will face even greater engineering challenges. Do not be surprised if this telescope does not get completed by 2025 as promised, and even if it does, do not be surprised if it takes another half decade or more before the engineers work out all the kinks.

Astronomers today celebrate the official turning-on of ALMA, the world’s largest telescope.

Astronomers today celebrate the official turning-on of ALMA, the world’s largest telescope.

ALMA is an array of 66 dishes tuned to wavelengths in the millimeter to submillimeter range of the electromagnetic spectrum, between the infrared and radio frequencies.

The leading team in the Google Lunar X-Price contest last week successfully tested by remote control the astronomical telescope they intend to include with their lunar lander.

The leading team in the Google Lunar X-Price contest last week successfully tested by remote control the astronomical telescope they intend to include with their lunar lander.

[The Google Lunar X Prize] requires the participants to successfully land a lunar rover on the surface, drive it a minimum of 500 meters (about a third of a mile), and send back high definition video and imagery. Moon Express intends to land this first lunar lander near the Moon’s equator.

Moon Express is planning to send its first robotic lander to the Moon in late 2014. It will be launched atop either SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket or another commercial launch vehicle. It intends to fly ILOA’s shoebox-sized test telescope, called ILO-X, as part of its [X prize] entry. There are additional prizes available which might be won by an educational lunar telescope, such US$1 million prize for the entry which adds the most to diversity within space studies.