Today I has been mostly looking at telescopes. Big Telescopes.

…and other large astronomy instruments. I watched a program about how technically challenging it can be to get large mirrors up to the most prestigious optical observatories, because they tend to be located in remote areas away from haze and light pollution and at high altitude in order to minimise atmospheric lensing distortions of the astronomical observations. The effort and precision required to first create a perfect mirror and then get it up an enormous mountain without it cracking/shattering along the way is hard to describe without wishing for a far less trite word than “impressive”.

I noticed that the high altitude observatories have pretty damn spectacular mountain outlooks, and some of the lower altitude non-optical instruments are intermittenly glorious as well. So I went a searching on Flickr, and created my first Flickr Gallery (a new feature): Observatories. I now have a few extra places I want to see that I’ve added to my bucket list.

thumbnails for gallery of observatory photos

Observatory gallery thumbnails

Categories: arts & entertainment, Science

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3 replies

  1. Oooo, I do like seeing a lot of my favourite places. Great selection of photos.
    Though I would note – that little dome at Mt Stromlo is rather small, about 3 m high. We have a small outreach telescope in it, not anything exciting 🙂 All the post-fire telescope construction went to Siding Spring, so we now have a nice shiny 1.3 m telescope up there.

    • I thought that the Mount Stromlo dome looked a smidge on the small side, but I liked the shot anyway. The problems with equipment at risk from bushfires in these remote locations also struck me as worth highlighting.

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