Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

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Matthew Bershady/UW-Madison Astronomy Department
The South African Large Telescope (SALT) is situated in Sutherland, South Africa. SALT features 91 meter-wide mirror segments to create a 10-meter wide mirror. The dome roof rotates for viewing, with an 11-meter hexagonal panel that opens.
IMS Research
EMEA machine-vision hardware growth rates.
Applique Computer System
Business Wire
DRS makes the Applique Computer System for the U.S. Army’s Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and Below (FBCB2) program. These systems support Army and Marine Corps units engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Optical Telescope is Worth its ‘Salt’

Astronomers have released the first images captured by the South African Large Telescope (SALT) since it was first perched on a mountaintop near the edge of the Kalahari desert in South Africa five years ago.

Upon completion, the newly constructed SALT will be the largest optical telescope in the Southern Hemisphere. Scientists and researchers from the National Research Foundation of South Africa in Pretoria, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Nicolas Copernicus Astronomical Centre (Warsaw, Poland), Rutgers University (Piscataway, NJ), and other institutions and government agencies helped construct the telescope. The telescope’s geodesic mirror-support truss at the center will hold 91 mirror segments that are each one meter wide, creating a 10-meter-wide mirror. The dome roof rotates for viewing, with an 11-meter hexagonal panel that can be opened.

The new $18 million observatory will provide access to the “astronomically rich skies” of the Southern Hemisphere, according to officials. Because there are no cities or towns nearby, the SALT’s view will be virtually unobstructed by the light pollution experienced by observatories in the Northern Hemisphere.

Objects such as the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, the galaxies nearest to the Milky Way, will come into view through the SALT’s primary mirror array. The studies of the thousands of individual stars in the Magellanic Clouds are planned to trace the history of those nearby galaxies.

Other southern sky objects of interest include: Eta Carina, a nearby massive star that has been racked by a series of explosions over the past century; Omega Centauri, a globular cluster of stars in the Milky Way that some astronomers believe may be the fossil remains of another galaxy consumed long ago by the Milky Way; and Centaurus A, a nearby galaxy that recently experienced an explosion at its core.

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