Photos of W. M. Keck Observatory and Space Discoveries



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The W. M. Keck Observatory is located on the summit of Mauna Kea on Big Island, Hawaii.

Photo: Ethan Tweedie, courtesy of the w.m. keck observatory

 

In 2008, the a team of astronomers using the Keck Observatory Keck II telescope took the first-ever direct images of another solar system showing three planets orbiting around a dusty young star named HR 8799, which is 129 light-years away from earth. In 2010, they found a fourth planet named 'e'.

Photo: courtesy of the w.m. keck observatory

 


The W. M. Keck Observatory is located on the summit of Mauna Kea on Big Island, Hawaii.

Photo: Ethan Tweedie, courtesy of the w.m. keck observatory

 

The Keck Observatory operates the largest, most scientifically productive telescopes in the word. This is the primary mirror of Keck I, which is comprised of 36 hexagon segments, forming a primary mirror of 10-meters. A system of actuators and advanced electronics keeps each segment instantly adjusted to form a perfect parabola. Also shown are the reflections of the secondary and tertiary mirrors.

Photo: courtesy of the w.m. keck observatory

 

Adaptive Optics on Keck Observatory have allowed astronomers to find a black hole at the Center of the Milky Way. It is now understood that all galaxies have a proportionately-sized black hole in their centers. The Galactic Center and central black hole (labeled Sgr A*) with adaptive optics.

Photo: courtesy of the w.m. keck observatory and the UCLA Galactic center group

 

The images of Jupiter captured by the second-generation Near Infrared Camera (NIRC2) on Keck II show Red Spot Jr., which formed from the merger of three white spots between 1998 and 2000 and was called Oval BA. In December 2005, the white spot turned red like the much older Great Red Spot. While the new Red Spot Jr. is about the size of earth, the Great Red Spot is nearly twice that diameter and has been circling the planet for at least 342 years.

Photo: courtesy of the w.m. keck observatory

 

The W. M. Keck Observatory is located on the summit of Mauna Kea on Big Island, Hawaii.

Photo: Ethan Tweedie, courtesy of the w.m. keck observatory

 

The W. M. Keck Observatory is located on the summit of Mauna Kea on Big Island, Hawaii.

Photo: Andrew Cooper, courtesy of the w.m. keck observatory

 
 
The W. M. Keck Observatory is located on the summit of Mauna Kea on Big Island, Hawaii.

Photo: Andrew Cooper, courtesy of the w.m. keck observatory

 
 
 

By studying the movement of supernovae with Keck’s massive mirrors, scientists were able to see the youngest (farthest away) stars were moving slower than the closer (older) objects. The universe is expanding.

Photo: courtesy of the w.m. keck observatory

 

These are the two most detailed images of Uranus ever taken. They are composites of 117 images from 25 July 2012 (left) and 118 images from 26 July 2012 (right), all obtained with the near-infrared NIRC2 camera on the Keck II telescope. NIRC2 is coupled to Keck’s adaptive optics system, which is used to remove much of the image blur caused by earth’s atmospheric turbulence.

Photo: courtesy of the w.m. keck observatory

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