This view is looking from the bottom up at the 200-inch Hale Telescope at the California Institute of Technology's Palomar Observatory. The view shows the underside of the 200-inch mirror's cell with red cooling fans encircled by mechanical supports. These supports help the mirror retain its proper shape regardless of where the telescope is pointed. At the very center of the image is a bright spot, a reflection off of the telescope's secondary mirror some 50 feet above the primary mirror. Light from the camera flash passed up through the hole in the 200-inch mirror up to the secondary mirror and reflected back down to the camera. The photo was taken during an instrument change, catching the underside of the telescope in a rare moment with no camera attached to its lower (Cassegrain) focus.
For a number of years, astronomers at the California Institute of Technology's Palomar Observatory have been using the High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN) as the data transfer cyberinfrastructure to further scientists' understanding of the universe. Recent applications include the study of some of the most cataclysmic explosions in the universe, the hunt for extrasolar planets and the discovery of our solar system's tenth planet.
HPWREN is supported under National Science Foundation grants OCI 00-87344 and OCI 04-26879. For more information, visit the HPWREN website.
(Date of Image: 2003)
Credit: High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN)/http://hpwren.ucsd.edu