This story is good , and deserves to be posted on every science and astrology website. An earth based telescope, the "World's Most Powerful Single Telescope" has just taken its first images of a distant galaxy, clearer and with more detail than any other optical telescope. In the weeks and months ahead, this telescope is expected to view and photograph planets in other solar systems.
(Tucson, Arizona) --- The Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) partners in the U.S.A., Italy and Germany are pleased to announce that they chieved "First Light" on Oct. 12, 2005. These exceptional images were obtained with one of the telescope's two primary mirrors in place and are being released today on the World Wide Web, .
This milestone marks the dawn of a new era in observing the Universe. Upon completion the LBT will peer deeper into space than ever before, and with ten times the clarity of the Hubble Space Telescope. With unparalleled observational capability, astronomers will be able to view planets in distant solar systems, and detect and measure objects dating back to the beginning of time (14 billion years ago).
Located on Mount Graham in southeastern Arizona, the $120 million (USD) LBT is a marvel of modern technology. It uses two massive 8.4-meter (27.6 foot) diameter primary mirrors mounted side-by-side to produce a collecting area equivalent to an 11.8-meter (39 foot) circular aperture. Furthermore, the interferometric combination of the light paths of the two primary mirrors will provide a resolution of a 22.8-meter telescope.
The "honeycomb" structured primary mirrors are unique in that they are lighter in weight than conventional solid-glass mirrors. The second primary mirror was recently transported from the University of Arizona to Mount Graham and has been installed. By fall 2006, the LBT will be fully operational with both of its enormous eyes wide open.
The LBT's first light images were taken on 12 October 2005. The target was an edge-on spiral galaxy (type Sb) in the constellation of Andromeda known as NGC891. This galaxy lies at a distance of 24 million light years. NGC891 is of particular interest because the galaxy-wide burst of star formation inferred from X-ray emission is stirring up the gas and dust in its disk, resulting in filaments of obscuring dust extending vertically for hundreds of light-years.