Thursday, November 01, 2007

Science News: Binocular Telescope


Almost 20 years after it was first conceived, what will become the world's most powerful optical telescope is about to open its eyes.

Lying beneath the clear skies of Arizona, the $120m (£55m) Large Binocular Telescope will allow astronomers to probe the Universe further back in time and in more detail than ever before.

"The LBT is a very exciting step forward for astronomy," said Professor Gerry Gilmore of the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge, UK.

"Not only is it big, but it is proving the practical implementation of some of the new technologies which will be critical for all next-generation large telescopes."

Unlike most telescopes today, which consist of one light collecting mirror, the binocular telescope will consist of two 8.4m (27.5ft) discs used in tandem.more

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