Mar 7, 2008

Large Binocular Telescope takes first Image

Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), the world's most powerful optical telescope has started to work with both of it's two mirrors. Astronomers have released the first images taken using its two giant 8m diameter mirrors. The image shows a spiral galaxy located 102 million light-years away from the Milky Way.

The LBT is located on Mount Graham in southeastern Arizona. It took 20 years to build this $120m (£60m) telescope. Back in 12 October 2005, LBT took it's first image with with one mirror. Now both of it's two mirrors working, astronomers hopes that LBT will help in better study of the Universe.

Using two 8.4 m (27ft) mirrors will give LBT the equivalent light-gathering capacity of a single 11.8m (39ft) instrument and the resolution of a 22.8m (75ft) telescope. This resolution is 10 times greater than the space-based Hubble telescope, which has a 2.4m (8ft) mirror.

"The images that this telescope will produce will be like none seen before," said Professor Peter Strittmatter of the University of Arizona. Link


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