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Primary mirror of the Keck II telescope, Hawaii

Primary mirror of the Keck II telescope, Hawaii


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Primary mirror of the Keck II telescope, Hawaii

Keck II telescope mirror. The primary mirror (at lower right) and its supporting frame of the Keck II Telescope, the largest optical telescope in the world in 1997. Overall hexagonal in shape and 10 metres in diameter, the mirror is composed of 36 smaller hexagonal mirrors each 1.8m across. Each small mirror is computer controlled by a network of pressure sensors and motorised actuators to maintain the correct position of the entire mirror. The Keck II Telescope is twinned with Keck I and both can combine their signals to obtain a more accurate image. The Keck Telescopes are situated at 4200 metres altitude on the summit of the dormant volcano Mauna Kea in Hawaii, USA

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Media ID 6447901

© DAVID NUNUK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Astrophysics Hawaii Keck Ii Keck Telescope Mauna Kea Mirror Of Telescope Optical Optical Astronomy Optical Telescope Telescope Us A


EDITORS COMMENTS
This print showcases the primary mirror of the Keck II telescope, located in the breathtaking landscape of Hawaii. As you gaze at this image, your eyes are drawn to the lower right corner where the massive primary mirror and its supporting frame command attention. With a remarkable hexagonal shape and an impressive diameter of 10 meters, this mirror is truly a marvel of engineering. What makes this primary mirror even more extraordinary is that it is composed of 36 smaller hexagonal mirrors, each measuring 1.8 meters across. These individual mirrors work together seamlessly under computer control, ensuring their precise alignment through a network of pressure sensors and motorized actuators. This intricate system guarantees that every part maintains its correct position within the entire mirror structure. The Keck II Telescope itself holds great significance in the world of astronomy as it was once hailed as the largest optical telescope globally back in 1997. Situated alongside its twin counterpart, Keck I, these telescopes have revolutionized our understanding of space by combining their signals to capture incredibly accurate images. Perched atop Mauna Kea's dormant volcano at an altitude of 4200 meters, these magnificent instruments benefit from unparalleled views above Earth's atmosphere. The Keck Telescopes stand as beacons for optical astronomy and astrophysics research on one of nature's most awe-inspiring stages – Mauna Kea in Hawaii, USA. (Photo credit: Science Photo Library)

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