posted on Jul, 4 2004 @ 11:02 PM
The home of three of the world's most powerful telescopes is in danger of destruction by a wildfire that has already consumed over 4,000 acres of
Arizona land. Firefighters are hopeful that the weather will cooperate with the efforts to contain the fire, but the danger is very real.
An observatory that is home to some of the world's most powerful telescopes remained threatened by a lighting-caused wildfire that grew to 4,090
"It's threatened, but I think it's defendable," said Duane Archuleta, an operations chief for the fire management team. "It's going to take some
work of course."Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
The “Gibson fire,” burning since June 22nd, and has forced the evacuation of dozens of homes. Efforts to combat and contain the blaze have failed.
Three members of the museum staff and a firefighter have remained behind after the evacuation of the facility to do what they can to save it. With any
luck fortune will favor them and this important observatory will avoid the tragedy that befell Australia's Mount Stromlo Observatory which was
destroyed by fire last year.
The telescopes that are in danger include:
Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope
Run by Jesuit Priests in connection with the Vatican Observatory in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, this 1.8-meter optical telescope searches the universe for
Heinrich Hertz Submillimeter Telescope
This telescope uses radio waves to see through dust clouds out of which scientists believe new stars form.
Large Binocular Telescope
Once it's fully operational in the fall of 2005, this telescope will be the most powerful optical telescope in the world. It can see faint and
distant objects because of its two, giant 8.4-meter mirrors that gather in light. Scientists believe it will detect planets outside the solar system,
something no other telescopes can do.
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