W. M. Keck Observatory facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsW. M. Keck Observatory
The summit of Mauna Kea is considered one of the most important astronomical viewing sites in the world. The twin Keck telescopes are the two largest optical/near-infrared instruments there.
|Wavelength||Optical, near infrared|
|Built||Keck I 1993, Keck II 1996|
|Angular resolution||0.04 to 0.4 arcseconds for individual telescopes, depending on target and instruments used|
|Focal length||17.5 m (f/1.75)|
The W. M. Keck Observatory is a pair of two large, ground-based telescopes located at Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Sitting more than two miles above sea level, the paired telescopes are used to examine light from distant stars in great detail. The primary mirrors of each of the two telescopes are 10 meters (33 feet) across, making them slightly smaller than the Gran Telescopio Canarias primary mirrors.
However, all of the light collected by the Keck Observatory primary mirrors (75.76m2) is sent to the secondary mirror and the instruments, compared to GTC's primary mirror, which has an effective light-collection area of 73.4m2, or 25.4 square feet less than each of the Keck Observatory primary mirrors. Because of this fundamental difference in design, Keck Observatory's telescopes arguably remain the largest steerable, optical/infrared telescopes on Earth.
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