When the Wizard of Oz roared that line, he was hidden behind a curtain. He knew all too well that he was not particularly great nor very powerful, and wanted no one to find out (a scheme foiled by that heroic terrier Toto). The opposite problem exists at the W. M. Keck Observatory. There is genuinely great cosmic stuff being discovered with the world’s largest, optical and infrared telescopes – so ‘great’ and ‘powerful’ apply – but to many folks it all seems hidden behind a curtain.
There is no curtain, of course, as anyone knows if they have poked around the Keck Observatory Visitor Center in Waimea. But to banish even the shadow of any Oz-like shenanigans, here is a quick, easy-to-digest, summary of a few recent bona fide feats of Keck wizardry, including the discovery of the coldest star, the brightest star and a glimpse into the uncharted depths of Jupiter.