The Large Binocular Telescope is a marvel of precision engineering with massive scale. With its two 8.4 meter (27.6 foot) diameter primary mirrors on a common mount, it is the largest optical telescope in the world.
The primary mirrors are actively controlled at a slow rate to maintain their perfect figures, while the secondary mirrors change shape 1000 times a second to compensate for the blur of the atmosphere. The instrument complement includes pairs of optimized 36 megapixel CCD cameras, high-throughput optical spectographs, and unique multi-object infrared spectographs.
Two additional instruments will combine the light coherently from the two sides to create images ten times sharper than those from Hubble Space Telescope. Scientific discovery has been underway since 2008 in fields ranging from stellar archaeology in nearby galaxies to star formation in the distant universe. Notre Dame astronomers have played a leading role as scientific investigators with this unique facility.
LBT Director Dr. Richard Green will present "The Large Binocular Telescope: A New Era in Astronomy and Engineering" at the Nieuwland Lecture on Tuesday, March 29 at 7 p.m. in the Carey Auditorium of the Hesburgh Library. The event is free and open to the public.