The Sciences

Visual Science: A (Dormant) Volcano Is a Great Place to Look at the Sky

Hawaii's Mauna Kea houses the world’s largest astronomical observatory.

By Amy BarthJan 9, 2009 6:00 AM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

The moment: Night falls on the Gemini North (foreground) and Canada-France-Hawaii telescopes on the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Gemini recently captured the first infrared snapshot of exoplanets, seen orbiting a star 140 light-years away. The telescope’s laser guide star system uses adaptive optics to create ultrasharp images that compensate for distortions caused by Earth’s atmosphere. Mauna Kea, home to the world’s largest astronomical observatory, is a dormant volcano, but don’t worry—the red glow at right is just car brake lights.

The shot: Astronomer Richard Wainscoat took this photograph in February 2008 using a Canon EOS 5D with a 24mm lens, ISO 800, f/1.4, 6 seconds.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month
Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
1 free articleSubscribe
Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.