If you think washing the mirrors and windows in your home is a daunting task, imagine cleaning two of the largest light-collecting surfaces in the astronomy world—the twin 10-meter Keck telescope mirrors. There are two methods to maintain the mirrors’ perfect reflection, and they involve much more than Windex.
Cosmic Matters Blog
Astrophysicists using the Keck Observatory have identified two white dwarf stars in an eclipsing binary system, allowing for the first direct radius measurement of a rare white dwarf composed of pure helium.
University of Hawaiʻi photographer R. David Beales won Best in Show at the University Photographers Association of America competition for his December 2009 image of Keck Observatory using its laser guide star on Mauna Kea.
New data from several telescopes, including the W. M. Keck Observatory, suggest astronomers may have identified a new type of supernovae. The stellar death is thought to have originated in a star that was a low-mass white dwarf accumulating helium from a companion star. When the white dwarf exploded, about half of the mass ejected from the supernova was in the form of calcium.
The finding suggests that a couple of supernovae like this exploding every 100 years would produce the high abundance of calcium observed in galaxies like the Milky Way, and the calcium present in life on Earth.
Local artist Laurie Goldstein will display “Universe in Color” at Keck Observatory’s headquarters in Waimea from May 20 to September 22. Her work features canvas with papers, fabrics and ephemera glued to the surface.
The North Kohala artist explained that she sometimes paints over the collage material to give the surface texture, creating shapes that help dictate the outcome of the piece. In other works, she has used the glued materials as the final layer, which leaves the textures and colors of the collaged pieces completely visible.
Public viewing of Goldstein’s art will be available during Keck Observatory’s monthly astronomy lectures.