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Program on telescopes offered at Hobbs

by From Staff Reports | May 11, 2022 at 11:00 a.m.

There is a new breed of ground-based telescope out there today with even more slated for operation in a few years. This new class of telescopes is totally incredible. Their homes can be found in remote parts of Chile, South Africa, Hawaii, Spain, Puerto Rico and other suitable locations. They house some of the largest mirrors yet for collecting light from distant cosmic objects. The folks from the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society will present enlightening facts about these important structures, and then orientate us to the late Spring sky.

Some of these amazing telescopes are:

The twin 33-foot telescopes at the W.M. Keck Observatory represent the second largest optical telescopes on Earth, located close to the summit of Hawaii's Mauna Kea.

The huge reflector helps make Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico an incredibly sensitive radio telescope. Such radio sources include distant quasars (a region at the center of a galaxy that produces an extremely large amount of radiation) and galaxies that emit radio waves which only reach Earth 100 million years later.

The Square Kilometer Array (SKA) is an intergovernmental radio telescope project being planned to be built in Australia and South Africa. 50 times the sensitivity of any radio telescope ever built. Such power could examine signals from the younger universe of 12 billion years ago.

The night sky viewing at Hobbs will include looking at the moon through high quality telescopes provided and staffed by members of the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society. Other observations in the May 14 sky will include stars, constellations and star clusters.

What to Bring:

Flashlight (covered with a red cloth or red balloon)

Binoculars and/or telescope (if you have one)

Folding chair – one per person

Star chart (if you have one)

Recommended minimum age for this program: 8 years

Where: Hobbs State Park visitor center on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection

Cost: The event is free and open to the public

For information, call Hobbs State Park: 479-789-5000 or go to the website of the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society at https://www.sugarcreek.space/.

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