DR FRED ESPENAK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR FRED ESPENAK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Infrared telescope. NASA's Infrared Telescope Fac- ility (IRTF) observing the night sky. The tele- scope is pointing through a sliding opening in the dome that houses it. This reflecting telescope uses a mirror to focus the signal, rather than a lens, which would cause chromatic aberration (splitting of colours). The mirror has a diameter of three metres and is mounted in the red support at the bottom. IRTF is mainly used to study the atmospheres of planets or to examine interstellar dust clouds. It is situated at an altitude of 4200 metres on the top of the dormant volcano Mauna Kea in Hawaii, which hosts many other observatories.
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