W. M. Keck Observatory

The W. M. Keck Observatory is a two-telescope astronomical observatory at an elevation of 4,145 metres (13,600 ft) near the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawai'i. The primary mirrors of each of the two telescopes are 10 metres (33 ft) in diameter, making them the second largest optical telescopes in the world, slightly behind the Gran Telescopio Canarias. The telescopes can operate together to form a single astronomical interferometer. In 1985, Howard B. Keck of the W. M. Keck Foundation gave $70 million to fund the design and construction of the Keck I Telescope. The key advance that allowed the construction of the Keck's large telescopes was the ability to operate smaller mirror segments as a single, contiguous mirror. In the case of the Keck each of the primary mirrors is composed of 36 hexagonal segments that work together as a single unit. The mirrors were made from Zerodur glass-ceramic by the German company Schott AG. On the telescope, each segment is kept stable by a system of active optics, which uses extremely rigid support structures in combination with adjustable warping harnesses.

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Scientists discover the fluffiest galaxies

An international team of researchers led by Pieter van Dokkum at Yale University have used the W. M. Keck Observatory to confirm the existence of the most diffuse class of galaxies known in the universe. These "fluffiest ...

dateMay 14, 2015 in Astronomy
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Scientists build first map of hidden universe

A team led by astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy has created the first three-dimensional map of the 'adolescent' Universe, just 3 billion years after the Big Bang. This map, built from data collected ...

dateOct 16, 2014 in Astronomy
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Keck Observatory opens its archive to the public

The W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii has just been awarded the 2015 NASA Group Achievement Award for pioneering the Keck Observatory Archive (KOA) ten years ago, which has significantly increased the impact of Keck Observatory ...

dateDec 10, 2015 in Astronomy
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