Meet the TMT team with a new interview in our blog. Before the pandemic we met with Caty Pilachowski, Professor of Astronomy, who has held several leadership positions in the astronomical community. She has been active in research on the evolution of stars, large telescope design and construction, women in science and much more.
In an earlier companion post (Sharper Focus, Part 1), I introduced the concept of adaptive optics and talked about some of the ways astronomers and engineers have used those techniques to sharpen the images we capture. Now I’d like to show you some of the specific adaptive optics solutions that will enhance TMT’s vision.
The Atmospheric Lens TMT’s unprecedented ability to peer into the depths of the Universe means it will have a phenomenal impact on many areas of astronomy. But in this age of space-based telescopes, you may have wondered how a ground-based observatory like TMT (or some of the other next-generation large terrestrial telescopes) will get past the challenges of being on the ground instead of up in orbit. One of the major challenges is...
Until recently, eyeglass lenses were actually made of glass-remember the "Coke-bottle-bottoms" some people had to wear? Given the fragility and other quirky qualities of glass, you can imagine the delicacy with which the optician had to grind every lens blank to achieve exactly the right specifications. Now picture 492 glass pieces - actually, mirror segments once they have the reflective coating added -each weighing as much as a dozen car...
“Wax on, wax off,” said Mr. Miyagi to "The Karate Kid" (1984), to help the kid develop efficiency of movement, attention to detail, and grace—while also polishing Mr. Miyagi’s classic car. What could this possibly have to do with TMT?
As I’ve explained elsewhere in this blog, segment support assemblies are what hold in place each of TMT’s primary mirror segments. They also let each segment be positioned in real time to provide the best possible imaging capability. Staff at the TMT Project Lab in Monrovia, California, are building six segment support assemblies to determine whether the design can be manufactured in a repeatable, problem-free manner.
It’s been some time since my last blog entry because TMT has been keeping me rather busy. I’ll talk about some of the latest happenings in upcoming entries as soon as time permits. However, before letting any more time go by, I’d like to take a moment to highlight TMT’s WFOS system.
As I write this, the final design for TMT’s enclosure—a huge, moveable dome that will house the telescope—is nearing completion. A substantial portion of the final design has already been done, allowing for work to begin on the production readiness phase. The last of the design reviews, for the enclosure’s electrical and controls aspects, is planned for the coming months, with the hope that a contract for the fabrication phase and making all...
One of the highlights for me starting to working on TMT four years ago was my first visit to our laboratory, and the opportunity to see and touch the hardware prototypes for TMT’s mirror support and control systems.
In the Himalayan foothills near Naintal, India, stands the largest single-mirror optical telescope in Asia: India’s new Devasthal Telescope, designed and built under the joint leadership of the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), the Indian Institute for Astrophysics, and the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research.