Universe

Better than Hubble: Luci Telescope Outstanding Images (Arizona)

A new infrared camera named Luci has passed all tests as one of the most powerful telescopes in the world. Luci is from Arizona. Because of the unique technology pictures are better than those of the Hubble space telescope.

With Luci, astronomers want to explore distant space. The device was recently inaugurated. And after ten years of construction on the large binocular telescope (LBT), is available to scientists on the 3200 meter Graham mountain in Arizona. For now just on the test mode. The telescope is one of the most powerful LBT in the world. Thanks to a trick, it provides sharper images than the Hubble space telescope.

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The images that it takes are not distorted by atmospheric disturbances as in devices that are on the Earth. So-called adaptive optics for each of the two LBT mirror with a diameter of 8.4 m correct the images so that they have an unprecedented sharpness.

Telescope working temperature is 200°C.

Development and construction of Luci started ten years ago. The Research Consortium was headed by Astronomical Institute of the University of Heidelberg. The Max Planck Institute for astronomy in Heidelberg and for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching near Munich. Several other universities were also substantially involved Lucy.

Lucifer (large binocular telescope near-infrared utility with camera and integral field), originally as the project was called before it was officially christened Luci, is an infrared camera which fixed the light from one of the two mirrors. It is located in a cryostat, which has a diameter of 1.6 meters and is equally high. In it there is a temperature from-200°C.

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“This is necessary to avoid disturbing infrared heat radiation of the various components that would otherwise outshine the extremely faint infrared light of the studied astronomical objects”, says Professor Jochen Heidt of the Königstuhl State Observatory. The second mirror is equipped already years ago with Luci 2, a weak version of the new Luci.

Lucy is build to search for planets around alien Suns

In the next few weeks, still fine adjustments follow before Luci astronomers is routinely available. Hope to be able to watch not only the emergence of stars, but also planets orbiting around a distant Sun. Through the use of masks, several regions of the sky can be observed at the same time.

The two mirrors of the LBT have a light gathering capacity as a 11.8 m large single mirror. Smaller mirrors are much easier to produce than large. In addition, the weight with increasing diameter increasing disproportionately. The manipulation becomes increasingly difficult. The two mirrors are equipped with both a camera and a spectrometer allows you disassemble the light.

Incidentally at the time, NASA assembles the new huge space telescope James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which should become the successor of the Hubble telescope. A total of 18 hexagonal mirror will unfold in space and work together as a telescope with a diameter of 6.5 meters. The launch is scheduled for 2018.