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Overall view of COAST telescope system, Cambridge

Overall view of COAST telescope system, Cambridge

R110/0204

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Credit

DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

COAST telescope. View of the external parts of the Cambridge Optical Aperture Synthesis Telescope (COAST). This is the world's first optical interferometer telescope. Each of the three white boxes contains a 40cm Cassegrain telescope. Light from each is fed via beam pipes (white tubes) to the beam combining building (below frame area). There the three images are merged by an interferometer to form a single image. This technique imitates a telescope of up to 100 metres diameter, and can resolve about ten times finer detail than the Hubble Space Telescope. The first COAST images, of the close binary star Capella, were made in September 1995.

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