On the occasion of the choice by the United Nations of 2009 as the year of the side, the site of scientific information PopSci elected 10 typical telescopes of all times to present to the readers.
‘Eyes’ of Gemini
Two eyes are always better than one, which is why scientists set up two observatories an ocean apart to get a bird’s-eye view of the sky.
The Gemini Infrared Optical Telescopes, also known as the Gemini “eyes”, include: the South Telescope is located at an altitude of more than 2700 m above sea level in the Andes in Chile; The North Telescope (pictured) sits atop the extinct Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii, which provides an ideal atmosphere for observing the night sky.
Currently, many scientists from 7 countries jointly manage these two glasses. In each observatory, there is an air blowing room to clean the silver surface of the spherical mirror to increase the ability to receive infrared light.
European Southern Observatory (ESO)
The Very Large Telescope (VLT) series, the “flagship product” of observatories in Europe
Measuring 3.5m in diameter, the New Technology Telescope is the world’s first telescope with a computer-controlled main spherical mirror. The “telescope complex” is under the management of the European Southern Observatory, located in the Atacama Desert in Chile. Here, ESO also has an array of Atacama (ALMA) millimeter and submillimeter wavelength receivers. It is the highest observatory in the world and also the most advanced radio astronomy observatory.
National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)
The Verry Large Array (VLA) telescope system.
The NRAO Observatory runs the Green Bank Telescopes, the Very Large Array (pictured above), the Very Large Baseline Array, and even the ALMA Telescope (mentioned above).
Scientists have used data from the Green Bank Telescope to determine the frequencies of molecules in the universe. And the name Very Large Array testifies to the enormous size of this radio telescope: 27 radio antennas each weighing 230 tons and having a diameter of 25 m.
This glazing system, located in the southern desert of Socorro, New Mexico, USA, covers an area of 57 square kilometers.
Chandra and Spitzer “yin, positive” glasses
The Spitzer Infrared Telescope is named after the father of space telescopes, Lyman Spitzer.
Famous only after the Hubble Space Telescope, the two Chandra and Spitzer space telescopes are expected to observe places never seen before.
The Chandra X-ray Telescope has an elliptical orbit around Earth, giving us better insight into high-energy-density regions of the universe, places that are most likely the remnants of a super new star. Chandra’s images have helped scientists better understand cosmic pulsars (pulsars, a form of electromagnetic radiation involved in star formation and death) and nebulae in the universe.
In contrast, the Spitzer Space Telescope (pictured) provides scientists with images of ‘cold objects’ (compared to regular stars) in the universe, including small stars and planets outside the solar system.
Corot and Kepler space telescopes
These two telescopes, one French, the other American, search for life in regions around the stars where the temperatures allow liquid water to exist.
NASA’s Kepler telescope (pictured) was launched into space last March. Corot is the result of a collaboration between the European Space Agency and the French National Center for Space Research.
Since its launch in December 2006, this telescope has announced many major discoveries, including the discovery of a small planet almost twice the size of Earth, very far from us, orbiting a star like the Sun. God with a 20 hour cycle!
WM Keck Observatory
Located on Mount Mauna Kea in Hawaii, it occupies the position of the two largest optical and infrared telescopes in the world.
These two telescopes, 10 meters in diameter and 300 tons, have become famous both for their design and for their discoveries.
Each main reflector is made up of 36 hexagonal pieces that work together like a spherical mirror (a specific product of a breakthrough invention in large-scale device engineering), which has helped scientists make many important discoveries: existence of galaxies at the edges of the universe; Look for supernova explosions; Determine the expansion rate of the universe; The nature of gamma-ray bursts and, more recently, of extrasolar planets and stars.
Wilson Peak Observatory
From the time the mules pulled the 60-inch mirror up the mountaintop to the cold nights, Edwin Hubble opened up human knowledge to the universe. Mount Wilson is the place that witnessed the change of modern telescopes and became one of the most important “relics” in the history of science.
For nearly 100 years, Mount Wilson saw George Ellery Hale’s defining 60-inch telescope in modern astronomy (now used to classify stellar spectra), now replaced by a 100-inch telescope placed right next to it.
Using the new telescope (pictured), Edwin Hubble observed distant galaxies and the expanding universe. This rate of expansion is consistent with the Big Bang theory.
In the past, Mount Wilson was once the largest sky gazer in the world. But light pollution from the city of Los Angeles at the foot of the mountain prompted scientists to search for other places south of…
Hale’s 200-inch telescope at Palomar helped revolutionize modern astronomy, including glass melting.
It cost almost a million dollars to manufacture (in 1934) and still did not produce a large enough quartz mirror. George Ellery Hale, the founder of the Palomar Observatory, had to strike a deal with Corning in New York, USA, to make a spherical mirror 200 inches in diameter made from a new glass composite called Pyrex .
After three quarters of a century, Palomar made new discoveries. In 2007, scientists announced a new adaptive optical system to improve the sharpness of photographs taken at Palomar.
One of Galile’s two remaining glasses was exhibited for the first time outside of Italy, at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.
Galileo was not the inventor of the telescope, nor may he be the first person to use a telescope to observe the sky. But the design of the telescope he built allowed him to see the sky farther than anyone before him. His inventions then shocked Europe.
With his telescope built in 1609, he observed the Moon, discovered the four moons of Jupiter, observed a supernova explosion, found sunspots and checked the phases of stars.
Having reached the age of 18 with many significant events, the Hubble Telescope came to life with the name of the greatest astronomer in history. With difficult births and famous discoveries, it’s hard to find a scientific apparatus as ambitious as Hubble.
Hubble has inspired the human imagination more than any other scientific instrument and produced unique discoveries, leading to more than 6,000 research papers. It’s also why more people are familiar with the Hubble Telescope than particle accelerators or scanning electron microscopes, even though their illuminating roles are similar.
Hubble’s accomplishments over the past 18 years include: Finding the age of the universe; Verify that dark energy is accelerating the expansion of the universe; Take pictures of extrasolar planets and determine the chemistry of their atmospheres.
Hubble’s fourth maintenance program in the past is the last human maintenance program for Hubble and the telescope will be able to operate for another 10 years.
“We did a lot of things looking back 400 years ago (when Galileo was looking up at the sky with a telescope). Hubble is a worthy successor to the Galilean telescope, helping us see things we couldn’t see before…Hubble has played a huge role in changing people’s view of the universe. Frank Summers, astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.
Pham Vu Loc – compiled by HAS