Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) which recently declared "first light" in western Texas. HET currently has the largest single mirror of any optical telescope -- 11 meters in diameter. Telescopes in space, like the Hubble Space Telescope, are much smaller but avoid the Earth's atmosphere blurring out fine detail. HET's huge size, on the other hand, allows it to see very dim objects and determine their spectrum. HET's unusual design allows the primary mirror to stay put during an observation! Only smaller focusing instruments suspending above the primary move to track an astronomical object.
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.
Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Publications with keywords: optical telescope
Publications with words: optical telescope