Friday, December 11, 2009

Giant Magellan Telescope - a model project!

We had some Korean visitors lately to the lab - and they brought presents! The Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute is one of the GMT partners. Evidently national pride has inspired a Korean company to make a model of the telescope! Software engineer and buddy Cary first sent me the link to the model (with a video of a fellow assembling one)and another to photos of a 7 -year-old assembling one before revealing that the young ladies in the front office had 2 of them. (Note that some browsers may have trouble downloading foreign language webpages - mine worked ok, even when saying "no" to loading language packs. Google may offer translation which works ok...) The fuzzy catalog image is reproduced at left.

While I wasn't a model nut as a kid, it is sort of bizarre to be currently working on a project that has a scale model of the finished product. After getting permission from the Steward Observatory director's office, Victoria and Kassie assembled one, with perhaps a little more trouble than the 7-year-old did... But it is a "working" model of the GMT, at least as far as demonstrating the operation of the Alt-Az mounting. Standing about 22cm (9") high, it is quite accurate, showing the individual adaptive optics secondaries and truss work. Running about $10, they might not be available for Christmas delivery, but had I known earlier, it would have been fun to have a few to give away!

1 comment:

Twila said...

Gee, cool! But, does it unfold and refold into some sort of super-hero, like a Transformer? (I keep thinking of "Big".) ;-)