World's largest robotic telescope - Take 2!
At the National Schools' Observatory a huge part of what we do involves the Liverpool Telescope. It is the largest robotic telescope in the world. We are proud of it, and that we help you to use it for free. And...
Things are going to get a whole lot bigger!
We are proud to be a part of Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) who have just announced that they will be building a New Robotic Telescope (NRT). The new telescope will cost £24 million coming from a global partnership: LJMU and the Science and Technology Facilities Council in the UK, and Spain's Universidad de Oviedo and Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias.
The telescope will have a 4-metre main mirror. Twice the size of the LT, giving it 4 times the collecting area. It will move at 10 times the speed and can arrive on the scene of cosmic explosions just 30 seconds after detection! The mirror will come in 18 hexagonal segments fitting together perfectly. It will live inside a clamshell enclosure, like the LT - but much bigger!
The telescope will observe spectroscopically, something new for the NSO. This will complement the LT which will continue to take images of the night sky. The telescope will take 4 years to build. We will follow its progress - learning more about the technology and engineering going into its design.
Best of all, when it is built - you will be able to use it!
Your experience of the NSO is going to evolve. For the better. In a few years we will have learnt about the design challenges in building a telescope. We will have developed our knowledge of technology and engineering. And we will be able to observe the Universe in new ways. We love our LT - and we will continue to be a large part of its future. BUT - we aren't half excited about the NRT too!