Gran Telescopio Canarias by Maria Anamateros

Construction & Operation

The GTC is located in the Canary Islands of Spain at Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory. It was constructed for $200 million USD and was funded mainly by the Spanish government, and the European Union with the remaining cost funded by universities in Florida and Mexico.

Construction of the telescope began in 1998 and took approximately 10 years to build. The GTC is run by GranTeCan S.A. which is a public company that employs about 65 employees.

Physical Characteristics

The GranTeCan is the largest and one of the most advance optical and infra-red telescopes in the world. The primary mirror is made up of 36 individual hexagonal segments that together act as a single mirror. Altogether its mirrors have a diameter of 10.4 meters and weigh a total of 17 tons. The mirrors are made out of zerodur glass-ceramics which is an effective material because of its low level of thermal expansion.

Optical Characteristics

The GTC's CanariCam is a mid-infrared imager with spectroscopic, coronagraphic, and polarimetric capabilities. The CanariCam can measure thermal infrared between ≈7.5 and 25 μm.

Research and Purpose

The GranTeCan studies stars and galaxies as well as planets, black holes and other dark matter that have lead to many developments in astrophysics. The location of this telescope as well as the fact that it is the largest in the world sets in apart from all other telescopes.

Pictures Taken by the GranTeCan

Picture taken by GTC of NGC 6946, also known as the Fireworks Galaxy. It is a spiral galaxy about 10 million light-years away in the constellations Cepheus and Cygnus.
Picture taken by GTC of M76 which is a planetary nebula in the constellation Perseus. M76 is approximately 2500 light years and has a diameter of 0.7 light years.
Picture taken by GTC of Arp 271 which is a pair of similarly sized interacting spiral galaxies. Arp 271 spans about 130,000 light years and lies about 90 million light-years away.
Picture taken by GTC of M64, which is a spiral galaxy, also known as the Black Eye Galaxy. It has a dark band of absorbing dust in front of the nucleus, resulting in a smudged appearance.
Picture taken by GTC of Sharpless 2-106, which is an hourglass shaped nebula that is made up of glowing gas as well as light scattering dust.

Works Cited,-18.177089,10z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0xc6bf07713d75061:0x47758906f36b3c50!8m2!3d28.7566054!4d-17.8921097

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