Open dome of the IRTF telescope, Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Open dome of the IRTF telescope, Mauna Kea, Hawaii

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Credit: FRED ESPENAK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The open dome of NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) at the observatory near the 4270 metre summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii. At such a height, astronomers are above 60 percent of the Earth's atmosphere & most of the water vapour, which hinder astronomical observations in the infrared region at sea level. The IRTF building houses a 3-metre telescope which is used to study planets & cool stars often surrounded by dust. The dome in the background is that of the Canadian- French-Hawaiian Telescope (CFHT).

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Keywords: astronomy, astrophysics, hawai'i, irtf, mauna kea observatory

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