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Swinburne & Keck Observatory

Swinburne's Vice-Chancellor and the Centre for Astronomy and Supercomputing's Director have signed an MOU with Caltech which will see extensive collaboration in radio and optical astronomy over the next 5 yrs. This will include access to the world's largest and most powerful optical telescope: the twin 10m telescopes of the W. M. Keck Observatory for up to 20 nights a year. The observatory is situated at 4205m above sea level (above 40% of the Earth's atmosphere) on the summit of Hawaii's dormant Mauna Kea volcano. Access to this class of telescope will enable Swinburne astronomers to see objects further away and with more detail than has previously been possible for Australian observers. Swinburne astronomers will be the first group in Australia to have guaranteed access to the Keck telescopes.

Full Press Release

Keck Blue Web To demonstrate the size and iconic hexagonal shape of the Keck mirrors, the university plans on creating a 'footprint feature' at its Hawthorn campus. Swinburne's Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing staff and students mark out the size of one Keck mirror, with an artist's impression of the footprint.

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The twin Keck telescopes near the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Photo: Laurie Hatch

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The night sky and laser guide star seen from one Keck telescope dome. Photo: Laurie Hatch

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