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3/13/18
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
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Westport Astronomical Society
182 Bayberry Lane
Westport, CT 06880
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Evolution Of The Telescope – From 100 Inches To 100 Feet, And Beyond… | Gabor Furesz, MIT

Westport Astronomical Society
3/13/18
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
https://www.was-ct.org/

THE WESTPORT ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY FREE LECTURE SERIES

Evolution of the Telescope – from 100 inches to 100 feet, and beyond… | Gabor Furesz, MIT Kavli Institute   

NEW DATE NOW MARCH 13!  

One of the most iconic telescopes, the Mt. Wilson 100 inch reflector, saw it’s first light 100 years ago in November 1917. Today, telescopes of 100 feet in diameter are being planned and constructed. In this talk we dig into a bit of history first, to see how the 100” came about, what discoveries it gave to science, and how observational astronomy and instrument making moved from Europe to the U.S. for most of the 20th century. Think of the 200” Hale telescope, which was the 4th ‘largest in the world’ in a row built in the States (preceded by the 40” Yerkes, 60” and 100” Mt. Wilson instruments – and amazingly all these we can thank the dedication of one man, George E. Hale.)  

However, looking at the recent decades and comparing the scientific productivity of the Keck telescopes vs. the quartet of the European VLT, and especially seeing how the European Extremely Large Telescope is advancing compared to the Giant Magellan and Thirty Meter Telescopes, we seemingly arriving at an era where the old continent takes a lead once again. We look at the advances in technology and science, as well as astro-politics behind this 100th year of astronomical instrumentation. We also look ahead a bit, what does the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and ALMA means, and whether the future is on the ground or in space with the James Webb Telescope. But of course, we cannot close without some elaboration on what is left into the hobby astronomer these days of Giant Telescopes on Earth and in Space.  

Furesz will be launching The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) as early as March 20th in Florida, so the talk has been moved back a week to accommodate the anticipated launch schedule.

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