India’s Liquid Mirror Telescope Ready to Observe Night Sky

India's Liquid Mirror Telescope Ready to Observe Night Sky
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International Liquid Mirror Telescope in the Himalayas.

International Liquid Mirror Telescope in the Himalayas.
Picture: Jan Surdej

A new telescope has been installed in the Himalayas to observe the night sky. The contraceptive has a 4-meter (13-foot) lens, but the main point is that it is made of liquid mercury, which is rarely used for astronomical images.

The main component of the device, called the International Liquid Mirror Telescope (ILMT), is a layer of liquid mercury. floating on a very thin layer of compressed air. Quick silver rotates, takes a parabolic shape in the process — useful for focusing light from the night sky. By placing the camera at the focal point of the paraboloid, astronomers will then be able to capture images of objects in the sky.

At first glance, the telescope’s mirror looks like an ordinary reflecting surface. However, in fact, made of liquid was carefully sent to the mountain by a company specializing in hazardous materials. As long as no one tries to drink The telescope mirror is completely safe and, according to the ILMT team, is a viable alternative to other telescope mirror materials.

“The main advantage is the relatively low cost of a large liquid mirror compared to an ordinary telescope mirror,” Paul Hickson, an astronomer at British Columbia University who works on liquid mirror technology, told Gizmodo in an email. “For example, the cost of ILMT is about one-tenth of 3.6 meters [11.8-foot] Devasthal Optical Telescope – an ordinary telescope of approximately the same size and location. ”

And this place is very high. The telescope is located on the Indian side of the Himalayas at an altitude of 8,000 feet above sea level. Hixon will carefully examine the sky directly above his head, which contains hundreds of thousands of galaxies and several thousand quasars. (Quasars are very active galactic colors that glow in the night sky.)

By looking at the sky directly above night, where there is the least atmospheric sound, astronomers can determine which objects have changed in the sky over time, whether they are new supernovae, asteroids passing in front of luminous objects, or even bent transit black holes. the conversation the sources behind them.

Jean Surdej, an astrophysicist and project director at the University of Liege in Belgium, sent an e-mail to Gizmodo, saying:

He saw the telescope his first light in April, but scientific observations will not begin until the end of this year. When fully operational, The telescope will collect 10 gigabytes of data every night. Given the nature of mercury in supernovae and gravitational lenses, it is appropriate for ILMT to capture these events with extinct silver.

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