View of the primary mirror of the Keck Telescope

View of the primary mirror of the Keck Telescope

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Credit: DR FRED ESPENAK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: View of the primary mirror and its supporting frame of the Keck Telescope, the largest optical telescope in the world, which was completed on April 14th 1992. It is composed of 36 hexagonal mirrors 1.8m across, which form a unique surface with a diameter of 10 metres. Each mirror has a specific shape and during observations a network of pressure sensors and motorised actuators, controlled by a central computer, maintain the correct position of the entire mirror. The Keck Telescope is situated on the top of the dormant volcano Mauna Kea in Hawaii and by the end of 1996 an identical telescope will be built close to it.

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Keywords: astronomy, astrophysics, hawai'i, hawaii, keck, keck telescope, mauna kea, mirror, optical telescope, usa

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