Tag Archives: Thirty Meter Telescope

Reaching Orbit – Thirty Meter Telescope

Posted on November 4th, 2014

While I have been waxing poetic about the James Webb Space Telescope, set to launch in 2018, there is another massive telescope that has been in the works. This time it is a ground based telescope that will dwarf its rivals with a 30-meter (m) diameter primary mirror. Its closest competitors are about ten meters in size and include Keck 1 and Keck 2. The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) Observatory blows them out of the water with its 30-m primary mirror, giving it the ability to see objects that are nine times fainter then what is seen by the Keck telescopes. As opposed to the James Webb Telescope, TMT is ground based. Ground-based telescopes have less risk and lower long-term costs than do space telescopes. A good example of this price savings is the Hubble telescope. Discovering a problem with the mirror on Hubble after hauling it into space, supplies and astronauts had to be dispatched to fix the telescope at a great cost. With James Webb, it will not be possible to fix the telescope if there are problems since it will be orbiting the Earth at a distance much further than the Moon. Ground based telescopes can be … testContinue reading

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