Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Large Binocular Telescope - first light

Large Binoccular Telescope Successfully Achieves First Light

The LBT's first light images were taken on 12 October 2005. The target was an edge-on spiral galaxy (type Sb) in the constellation of Andromeda known as NGC891. This galaxy lies at a distance of 24 million light years. NGC891 is of particular interest because the galaxy-wide burst of star formation inferred from X-ray emission is stirring up the gas and dust in its disk, resulting in filaments of obscuring dust extending vertically for hundreds of light-years.

The images were captured through a state-of-the-art camera known as the Large Binocular Camera (LBC), which is mounted high above the primary mirror at the telescope's prime focus. Designed by the Italian partners in the project, the LBC acts like a superb digital camera. Its large array of CCD detectors is fed by a sophisticated six-lens optical system. Scientists can obtain very deep images over a large field of view, which is important since the processes of star formation and faint galaxy evolution can be observed with unmatched efficiency.




NGC 891 - Click for 1280×1024 image


References:

Description of the First Light images from LBT
Large Binary Telescope Observatory
Another press release: here

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