World’s Best Telescopes Being Built In Israel
A new observatory in Israel’s Negev will house the most powerful survey telescopes in the world – said to be three times better than any other telescope on Earth.
The observatory will consist of 48 telescopes with an extremely wide field of view. It’s being built by the Weizmann Institute of Science, which says it will possess the best sky-scanning capabilities in the world.
The telescopes will allow scientists to observe transient events in the universe, including supernovae, planets around distant suns and asteroids in the solar system.
The project is headed by Prof. Eran Ofek and Dr. Sagi Ben-Ami of Weizmann’s Particle Physics and Astrophysics Department.
Despite still being in the assembly stages, the array of telescopes already observed NASA’s unmanned DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) vessel’s collision with the Dimorphos asteroid. The results of this research, led by Weizmann Institute scientists, will be published soon.
The space organization deliberately crashed it into the asteroid last September, demonstrating its planetary defense technology for the first time.
The NASA vessel, which was obliterated on impact, was traveling at 22,530 kilometers per hour and is expected to slightly slow down orbital speed of the asteroid. NASA expects Dimorphos’s orbit to shorten by one percent, or roughly 10 minutes.
The maneuver applied to Dimorphos is called kinetic impact. It uses a space vessel to deflect any Earth-bound objects that may produce devastating effects on the planet.
Dimorphos, which is now in orbit about 11 million kilometers away from Earth, is a relatively small asteroid with a diameter of only 160 meters (530 feet). It orbits a larger asteroid, Didymos, which has a diameter of about 780 meters. Neither asteroid poses a threat to Earth, according to NASA.