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The Magellan Telescope in Chile is able to capture images “twice as sharp” as that of the Hubble telescope, astronomers claim.
IB Times reports that scientists from the University of Arizona, Carnegie Observatory and Arcetri Observatory in Italy created technology that will allow them to “make deep images that resolve objects just 0.02 arcseconds across.” UA professor Laird Close continued, “It is like the width of a dime seen over 100 miles away.”
“At that resolution, you could see a baseball diamond on the moon.”
Dr. Jared Males, a NASA Sagan Fellow at ASU, said, “Up until now, large telescopes could make the theoretically sharpest photos only in infrared light- or long wavelength - but our new camera can work in the visible and make photos twice as sharp.”
The new technology is called “MagAO” and is already being used to take pictures of Theta 1 Ori C, a binary star pair. The increased sharpness allowed astronomers to finally see the distance between the stars, since previous technology was limited.
According to Futurity, MagAO, or Magellan Adaptive Optics, has been in development for over 20 years on telescopes in Arizona. The images captured are also twice as sharp as anything the Hubble telescope could take. The telescope has a 21-foot diameter mirror compared to the Hubble’s 8-foot one.
Friday in the Astrophysical Journal, three papers on scientific discoveries found through the new telescope system were published.
image: Wikimedia Commons