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Bringing the Telescope Jitters under Control: A Unique Service at the LBT

April 12, 2013
Large mechanical structures such as the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) on Mt. Graham in Arizona are susceptible to vibrations. As the telescope is moved, but also as it is influenced by wind, the structure begins to oscillate slightly. Yet even very slight vibrations can jeopardize one of the LBT's key objectives: to combine the two 8.4m primary mirrors on the LBT mount to act like a single, much larger telescope. In this mode, achieved by what is called interferometry, the LBT could discern details otherwise accessible only to a telescope with a giant 23 meter mirror. Structural vibrations can all but spoil the interferometric combination, severely limiting the achievable resolution, and leading to a substantial loss of detail. [more]

Blazing the Trail for a Binocular Telescope: Pathfinder Arrives at Mt. Graham

February 26, 2013
The mere fact that the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona features two 8,4 meter diameter mirrors on a single mount is impressive enough. But this telescope is designed to be so much more: With the help of the LINC-NIRVANA instrument currently being assembled at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), the two mirrors will be linked to act like a single, much larger telescope. The resulting "interferometer" will be able to image details that would otherwise only be accessible with a (single) telescope with a 23-meter mirror. [more]

Andromeda in a new Light

February 02, 2013
NASA's "Astronomy Picture of the Day" for February 2, 2013, is an infrared image of the Andromeda galaxy, by the Herschel Space Telescope. The image is part of a program led by Oliver Krause of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA). [more]

New APEX Image of Interstellar Clouds in Orion

January 23, 2013
The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has just released spectacular new images of a region near the reflection nebula NGC 1999 in the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, which includes data from the submillimeter telescope APEX. [more]
 
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