Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Stargazing Giant Magellan Telescope

  1. Aug 18, 2009 #1

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Planning is underway for the new super giant Magellan Telescope -- it will be the largest mirror ever on ground based telescopes, according to the link.

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 19, 2009 #2
    Looks very interesting!!

    I wonder just how far it will be able to see!
  4. Aug 19, 2009 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I cant help but wonder is smaller mirror segments would be more efficient. Collimation appears to be the issue with segmented mirrors. Given the power of modern microprocessor, it looks like an opportunity to do something amazing.
  5. Aug 19, 2009 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    This is a lot easier to align than something like Keck with a segmented mirror - so the cost of the support hardware and control system is a lot less.
    The mirrors should also cost a lot less because they are each a conventional mirror with an identical curvature that can be tested indvidualy. Keck had a hard time making the different off-axis mirror segments.
    You can also make the individual primaries much faster - so the telescope is shorter and so the dome and telescope structure is much cheaper

    The main drawback of this design is for mid-IR the camera can see through the gaps between the mirrors to the hot ground behind it which gives a larger background signal. But the telescope probably isn't going to be used for MIR.

    I worked on the original Magellan (a pair of 6.4m) an I know a lot of the people working on this.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook