First Look at the Galaxies from World’s Largest Telescope

September 20, 2010

What will the world’s largest telescope see when it’s pointed to the stars and planets?  CWN is bringing you an insider look from our very own Senior Editor Terry Smiljanich.  Terry is on location in the Canary Islands guest blogging as Historian for the University of Florida on this expedition to explore the galaxies… and beyond!

Click here to learn more.

 Terry’s UF Astronomy blog

Atop Roque de los Muchachos, sit 13 world class telescopes including the world’s largest, the Gran Telescopio Canarias (aka Grandtecan). It is inside this telescope that The University of Florida team, led by Professor Charles Telesco, are feverishly preparing a new mid-infrared camera, the CanariCam, specially designed to work in conjunction with Grantecan to explore regions of space normally inaccessible to visible light.

Super-cooled to 8 Kelvin (approx. -445 degrees Fahrenheit), the coffee-table sized Canaricam will peer through interstellar dust with unprecedented accuracy, looking, for example, at the center of galaxies hiding black holes, or looking for exoplanets (planets outside our own solar system) in the process of forming around young stars.

As Spock would say: “fascinating!”

But if that all sounds a bit too techie for you, don’t worry. Terry includes layman’s terms and explanations along the way and plenty of breathtaking photography to boot. Be sure to jump over to the UF Astronomy blog to follow the progress of this historic event!