13.07.

Start of operation of the largest optical telescope in the world – 2007

Start of operation of the largest optical telescope in the world – 2007

The telescope named Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) is located in the area of ​​the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, on the island of La Palma (one of the Canary Islands).

On July 13, 2007, preliminary observations began with the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) telescope, the largest single optical telescope in the world. The diameter of its segmental mirror is as much as 10 meters and 40 centimeters, which puts it ahead of all other telescopes of this type. For comparison, the mirror diameter of the famous telescope on Mount Palomar in the US, which for many years was the largest in the world, is 5 meters and 8 centimeters, which means that this telescope is approximately twice the diameter, and therefore four times smaller the surface of the reflective surface. Gran Telescopio Canarias has a mirror consisting of 36 hexagonal segments connected into one whole. The surface of the mirror is made of Zerodur, a patented material produced by the German company Schott AG.

The GTC telescope is located in the area of ​​the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Spanish: Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos) on the island of La Palma, one of the Canary Islands. It is a location on the slopes of a large mountain, at an altitude of 2,267 meters. The observatory is almost 500 kilometers away from the African coast, and is one of the best locations for astronomical observations in the northern hemisphere. The construction of the GTC telescope cost about 130 million euros, and was mostly financed by Spain, to which the Canary Islands belong. The opening ceremony of the telescope, which was held after its commissioning, was attended in person by King Juan Carlos of Spain.

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