What are the 10 Biggest Telescopes in the World? - Answers

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What are the 10 Biggest Telescopes in the World?

Infographic Giving Details of the 10 Biggest Telescopes in the World
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Telescopes are optical devices that help in producing a magnified image of distant objects. The instruments use an arrangement of curved mirrors and lenses to achieve their objective. To observe distant objects, they utilize the properties of reflection, absorption, and emission of electromagnetic radiation. There are many big telescopes in the world which are helping to enhance our understanding of space and the universe.

Following are the 10 biggest Telescopes in the world:

1. The Gran Telescopio Canarias

This is the largest telescope in the world. Across the length, it measures 409 inches. It is located in Spain’s Canary Islands. Its development was a combined contribution from over 100 companies and more than 1000 people. Universities which played a major role in its design are the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, the University of Florida, and the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarías.

Aperture Size: 409 inches

2. Keck 1 and Keck 2

These telescopes are located in Hawaii’s Mauna Kea Observatory. They were inaugurated in the year 1993 and 1996 respectively. Both measure 394 inches in width. Lawrence Berkeley Labs and the University of California are the major institutes which contributed to their design. Howard B. Keck donated a huge amount of $70 million for its construction. NASA, Caltech, and the University of California are in charge of allocating it for use and other research proposals. The observatory is managed by the California Association for Research.

Aperture Size: 394 inches each

3. South African Large Telescope (SALT)

This is the third largest telescope in the world, and the biggest one in the southern hemisphere. Measuring 362 inches across, it is located in the South African Astronomical Observatory, Northern Cape of South Africa. Due to its location and sheer size, the telescope can capture images which even the telescopes located in the northern hemisphere cannot. The telescope receives funds from countries like the US, South Africa, India, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Poland, and Germany.

Aperture Size: 362 inches

4. Large Binocular Telescope (LBT)

This telescope is exclusively used by the researchers and astronomers for studying the night sky. The 330-inch telescope is located in Arizona at the Mount Graham Observatory. Its construction was made possible from the contribution of a number of universities, namely, the German Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, University of Virginia, University of Missouri, University of Notre Dame, University of Arizona, Italian Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, and many more.

Aperture Size: 330 inches

5. Subaru, Mauna Kea Observatory

Like Keck 1 and Keck 2 telescopes, this telescope too is located at the Mauna Kea Observatory. It is the flagship telescope of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. Its success is a result of an engineering workgroup based at the University of Tokyo. Because of having an in-built advanced high contrast imaging system, this telescope can capture even the images of exoplanets. The telescope has got its name after the Pleiades, an open star cluster.

Aperture Size: 323 inches

6. Antu, Paranal Observatory

It is one of the four Unit Telescopes (UTs) of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) located at the Paranal Observatory in the Atacama desert of Chile. The facility is operated by the European Southern Observatory, an intergovernmental Europe-based research organization. It was built in the year 1998 and went operational in the following year. Its name means the Sun, according to the Mapuche people language. Each UT is a standalone telescope; however, they can be used in conjunction to obtain a very high angular resolution. The telescope is specially designed to prevent blurring effects on the images which earlier crept in due to air turbulence.

Aperture Size: 323 inches

7. Kueyen, Paranal Observatory

The second of the VLT telescopes was built in the year 1999. It means the Moon in the language of Mapuche. Having a narrow slit design, it can achieve resolution up to 115,000. Due to the advanced technology, it can produce very sharp objects as if the telescope is placed in the space itself.

Aperture Size: 323 inches

8. Melipal, Paranal Observatory

This telescope is the third of the four UTs that make up the Very Large Telescope at Paranal. It was built in the year 2000. It produces high resolution with adequate sampling. Equipped with a number of specialized instruments, it can make observations in the spectrum ranging from the near-ultraviolet to the mid-infrared. Its name means the Southern Cross.

Aperture Size: 323 inches

9. Yepun, Paranal Observatory

This telescope is fourth UT in the series of VLT. Its name means Venus in the language of the Mapuche people. It is equipped with high-level technologies such as multi-object spectroscopy and high-resolution spectroscopy & imaging. It was built in the year 2001. It is known for a high level of automation and observing efficiency.

Aperture Size: 323 inches

10. Gemini South, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory

This telescope was built in the year 2001 with the joint effort of 7 countries, namely the United States, the United Kingdom, Chile, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and Argentina. It is located at an observatory in the Coquimbo region of northern Chile. The telescope has an internal adaptive optics system which prevents blurring of images due to atmospheric turbulence. It is optimized to work at infrared wavelengths.

Aperture Size: 318 inches

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