Professional Telescopes

Space and ground-based telescopes have not only transformed astronomical research, but they are impressive feats of engineering in themselves. The Hubble Space Telescope — the first large (2.5m) space-based telescope — can lay claim to some of mankind’s greatest discoveries.

But astronomers have multiple means of seeing the universe. They’ve equipped a Boeing 747 with a 2.5m telescope that looks out of a hole cut in the craft’s fuselage; they’ve placed 66 radio dishes on a plateau in the Chilean Andes, providing some of the sharpest views of the universe yet; and they’ve even designed telescopes no bigger than a loaf of bread. Sky & Telescope keeps you up to date on new ingenious methods of peering into the depths of space.

New Ultra-Deep Star Catalog Released

With the initial release of the USNO's Robotic Astrometric Catalog (URAT1), astronomers now have precise positions for about 228 million stars in the northern sky. Given my love of stone walls, I've been thinking about building one in the backyard to enclose the flower beds. But I haven't had the gumption to actually buy the…