Scientific Performance of the Keck Telescope

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Session 41 -- The Status of Large Telescope Projects, Instrumentation and Plans for Large Science Programs in the Areas of Wide-Field Surveys
Oral presentation, 8:30am - 12:30pm, June 14, 1995, 9:20am - 6:30pm

[41.01] Scientific Performance of the Keck Telescope

Joseph S. Miller (Lick Observatory)

The Keck Telescope is based on a new and radically different approach to the fabrication of the primary mirror of an optical telescope. The mirror is composed of 36 individual hexagonal segments that fit together in a mosaic to make the equivalent of a ten meter mirror. Major challenges for its construction were the fabrication of 36 off-axis segments, the development of a system of sensors that monitor the positions of the segments, and the development of a set of actuators that keep the segments in alignment. The final result has been complete success, as the primary mirror is stable and produces superb images. The telescope is now in regular operation employing three focal plane instruments for optical and infrared research, and some of the very early scientific results are major new contributions demonstrating the unique power of the Keck Telescope. Illustrations will be given of the dramatic gains that can be achieved with a very large telescope in an excellent site with state-of-the-art-instruments

8:30a program listing