telescope

New toys for the Keck girls and boys

W. M. Keck Observatory (Keck Observatory) is pushing the cutting edge of scientific discovery with the addition of the world’s most sensitive instrument for measuring the tendrils of faint gas in the intergalactic medium known…


A silicon wafer mirror

Stacks of carefully polished, coated and cut silicon wafers – normally used to manufacture integrated circuits – that will focus X-rays inside ESA’s Athena space observatory, due for launch in 2028. Invisible X-rays tell us…


A Chinese telescope on the Moon

Point a telescope at the moon, and you might just see one looking back. Chinese researchers have reported that their robotic telescope, the first of its kind, has been operating flawlessly ever since it landed…


Find the hot ray

Utah scientists announce a proposed expansion for their cosmic ray observatory, to speed up studies of a mysterious source of ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays. A year ago, an international team of 125 scientists – including 32…



The Big ESO Kahuna is coming

In early December 2014, ESO’s main governing body, the Council, gave the green light for the construction of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) in two phases. Spending of around one billion euros has been…


Ten minutes and twenty seconds of time travel

“I want to see farther.” “I want to see more distant space.” These strong desires are held by many astronomers. Why have astronomers gone to such pains to construct large telescopes to observe far away?…