On a tour arranged by Holland America's Westerdam I was able to return to the summit of Maunakea, Hawaii earlier this month to see the numerous observatories located there. It has changed quite a bit since my last visit in 1992.
Yesterday's blog included a picture of the VLBA radio telescope that is part of the Event Horizon Telescope. SO I won't include it here today.
The biggest change being that the 10-meter Keck Observatory now has a twin Observatory, Keck II. These are currently the largest optical telescopes in the world, having surpassed the 5-meter Hale Telescope at Palomar Observatory with the commencement of observations with Keck I in 1993.
Maunakea is a VERY special place because it has such clear and dry skies at almost 14,000 feet altitude. The telescopes there can observe above much of the Earth's atmosphere and enjoy excellent conditions. That is why there are so many telescopes there.
Collectively the Maunakea Observatories are a very important asset in our study of the Universe. Here are some of the Observatories - refer to the link for more information about them.
|Caltech Submillimeter Observatory|
|NASA Infrared Telescope Facility|
|University of Hawaii Telescope|
|Gemini Telescope (foreground) and Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope|
|James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (Center) |
Submillimeter Array w/ 8 Antennas (Right)
|United Kingdom Infrared Telescope|
Sky Guy in VA