EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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ESA space debris telescope. Astronomer operating a telescope being used to make observations of space debris by the European Space Agency (ESA). Space debris is a constant hazard to spacecraft and satellites. Even a small object can cause a great deal of damage at the high speeds of Earth orbits. This is a Zeiss 1-metre telescope being used at the Optical Ground Station (OGS) at the Teide Observatory on Tenerife, in Spain's Canary Islands. It is being used to observe objects in the 'geostationary ring' some 36,000 km above the equator. The telescope has Ritchey-Chretien optics and highly efficient digital cameras. The telescope can detect and track the tens of thousands of objects that are 10-15 centimetres in size or larger. Photographed in 2017.
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