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Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will be the world’s most advanced and capable ground-based optical, near-infrared, and mid-infrared observatory. It will integrate the latest innovations in precisions control, segmented mirror design, and adaptive optics.

TMT will couple unprecedented light collection area (almost 10 times more than one of the Keck telescopes) with diffraction-limited spatial resolution that exceeds Keck by a factor of 3. Relative to the Hubble Space Telescope (arguably the most revolutionary astronomical instrument of our generation), TMT will have 144 times the collecting area and more than a factor of 10 better spatial resolution at near-infrared and longer wavelengths.

An artist's rendering of the telescope at sunset.
credit Thirty Meter TelescopeAn artist's rendering of the telescope at sunset.
Side view of TMT complex.
credit Thirty Meter TelescopeSide view of TMT complex.
The laser guide star at night.
credit Thirty Meter TelescopeThe laser guide star at night.
The 492 primary mirror segments are arranged in a circle 30 meters (98 feet) across. The two Nasmyth platforms are each 30 meters long, and will hold up to 8 instruments at one time.
credit Thirty Meter TelescopeThe 492 primary mirror segments are arranged in a circle 30 meters (98 feet) across. The two Nasmyth platforms are each 30 meters long, and will hold up to 8 instruments at one time.
The Thirty Meter Telescope primary mirror (M1) viewed from the backside. The fine lattice structure that is seen between the thick blue structure is the mirror cell. The mirror cell provides support for the 492 Primary Segment Assemblies. The mirror cell, in turn, is supported by the elevation cradle assembly (shown in blue).
credit Thirty Meter TelescopeThe Thirty Meter Telescope primary mirror (M1) viewed from the backside. The fine lattice structure that is seen between the thick blue structure is the mirror cell. The mirror cell provides support for the 492 Primary Segment Assemblies. The mirror cell, in turn, is supported by the elevation cradle assembly (shown in blue).
The 66-meter diameter
credit Thirty Meter TelescopeThe 66-meter diameter "Calotte" style dome offers a full range of motion while providing maximum wind protection by virtue of the minimum opening size. In low-wind conditions, 98 vent doors can be opened to provide natural ventilation.
The lower section of the unusual
credit Thirty Meter TelescopeThe lower section of the unusual "Calotte" style enclosure rotates about a vertical axis and the upper portion rotates about an inclined axis. The combination of these two motions allows the telescope to point anywhere within its intended observing range, from the zenith to 65 degrees away.
The Thirty Meter Telescope will be 50 meters (164 feet) tall and 56 meters (184 feet) wide. The moving mass of the telescope, optics and instruments will be 1430 metric tons.
credit Thirty Meter TelescopeThe Thirty Meter Telescope will be 50 meters (164 feet) tall and 56 meters (184 feet) wide. The moving mass of the telescope, optics and instruments will be 1430 metric tons.
A schematic of the TMT Observatory.
credit Thirty Meter TelescopeA schematic of the TMT Observatory.
In July 2009, the board of directors of the TMT Observatory Corporation selected Mauna Kea as the preferred site for the Thirty Meter Telescope.
credit Sarah M. Hansen, Astronomy & Astrophysics, The University of ChicagoIn July 2009, the board of directors of the TMT Observatory Corporation selected Mauna Kea as the preferred site for the Thirty Meter Telescope.
Visualization of TMT on Manua Kea.
credit Thirty Meter TelescopeVisualization of TMT on Manua Kea.

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13.09.2014by Robert Sugar

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