Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hobby-Eberly Telescope

Today we got back to astronomy by booking into a hotel in Fort Davis, Texas. A very small town in the Davis Mountains of W Texas. Nearby at 7,000 ft elevation is the Mcdonald Observatory. The drive up is interesting but a wave of thunderstorms is going through the area at the moment. While inside the dome of the 108in telescope it was struck by lightning. No-one flinched; I think we expected it.

It is the home of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope which is unique in the field of telescope design for its size and utility as a spectroscope. I managed to get a picture of the 91-segment 9.2-metre mirror. The light was not good but the mirror is evident because you can see the roof trusses reflected and distorted in the lower part of the image...

The view from the mountain is good too, when the weather co-operates...

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