Telescopes help to bring galaxies and stars closer to people. This invention detects visible light (a kind of electromagnetic radiation) from far off items and uses that light to make an image. Galileo is the first person to connect and use the telescope to view the night sky and discover Milky Way. Several kinds of telescopes exist and are employed to observe different types of electromagnetic radiation.
Optical telescope, Radio telescope, and X-ray telescopes have all been valuable to science. The best telescopes in the world of today are astounding accomplishments. Here are the five most powerful telescopes out today that may define the future of astronomy.
1. The Gran Telescopio Canarias
The Gran Telescopio Canarias is the biggest telescope on Earth and measures 34 feet (or 409 inches) across. It is in the Canary Islands of Spain. More than 1,000 people from over 100 companies took more than a decade to complete development and the style of the telescope.
- “Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, the University of Florida,” and “the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico” were the major contributors.
- King Juan Carlos I of Spain officially inaugurated the telescope on July 24, 2009.
2. Keck 1 and Keck 2
Next on the list of telescopes that are enormous is the Keck 1 and Keck 2 telescope located at Mauna Kea Lab in Hawaii, US. These telescopes were initiated in 1993 and 1996. Both are 394 inches wide, or 32.8 feet. The University of California and Lawrence Berkeley Labs began designing in 1977, but it was Howard B. Keck who contributed the $70 million needed for construction.
- Keck 1 building commenced in 1985. Popularity grew, along with the institutions received more donations which allowed for the building of Keck 2.
- The University of California, Caltech, and NASA form a partnership that allocates telescope use time and accepts research propositions. The observatory is managed by the California Association for Research in Astronomy.
3. South African Large Telescope(SALT)
After the Keck 1 and two telescopes, the largest telescope that is next is the SALT. Though not the biggest in the world, it is the most important in the southern hemisphere and measures 30.16 feet across (362 inches).
- On account of its location, the SALT can record images that its northern hemisphere fellows cannot.
- This telescope represents a global effort and receives funding from New Zealand, Poland, the UK, Germany, India, South Africa, and the US.
4. Large Binocular Telescope (LBT)
The 4th position is taken by the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT). This 330-inch device helps astronomers and other researchers view the night time sky from the Mount Graham Observatory in Arizona, US.
- Unfortunately, its location was the reason behind heated argument when its use was contested by the San Carlos Apache Tribe on Mount Graham.
- Environmentalists were concerned about the destruction of the Mount Graham Red Squirrel habitat. The US Congress passed an act allowing its destruction.
The fifth largest telescope on earth is the Subaru, 323 inches. It is one of the largest reflecting telescopes an engineering work group initiated this at the University of Tokyo. This largest telescope is located in Hawaii.