Stairway to the Stars: The Story of the World's Largest Observatory

By Barry Parker

An informative account of the improvement of the Mauna Kea Observatories

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Commitment The commitment of the telescope happened on November 7, 1991. 100 and fifty humans from Caltech, the college of California, and the Keck starting place have been invited. They have been joined by means of the Keck employees and a few others. It was once a shiny transparent windy day as all people streamed into the dome in jackets and sweaters. a couple of wispy clouds sailed excessive overhead. The forty measure temperature used to be reasonable for the mountain, yet cold for an individual with out a coat. precisely one part (18) of 100 bankruptcy five The Keck telescope noticeable with the dome open, (Courtesy Keck Observatory and. Roger Ressmeyer) The Keck telescope (Keck I). (Courtesy California organization for study in Astronomy and Roger Ressemeyer) 102 bankruptcy five The Keck minor with all 36 segments in position. (Courtesy California organization jor learn in Astronomy} the 36 hexagonal replicate segments have been put in. The viewers sat in folding chairs at the flooring underneath the large telescope; the observatory employees stood alongside the catwalk overhead. The speeches have been made of a dais subsequent to the telescope's pier. The rite all started with an invocation—a Hawaiian chant given, by means of Kalena Silva of the college of Hawaii. He blessed the telescope, and everybody who had labored on it. The telescope sat THE carrying on with tale OF KECK 103 immobile in a horizontal place as numerous speeches have been made; with the of entirety of the rite it got here to lifestyles; a hundred and fifty a whole lot glass and metal started to rotate soundlessly over their heads. Then the dome started to flip. a couple of humans appeared down on the flooring, considering in the event that they have been relocating. whilst the telescope received to the shutter it all started to upward thrust upward. the group broke into an applause because the shutter began to open and sun streamed in. whilst the Keck funds was once first given to Caltech and the collage of California, the cash from the Hoffman provide was once nonetheless to be had, and plans have been made for a moment 10-meter telescope to be positioned beside the 1st one. the 2 have been to be tied jointly through interierometry, so that they may be operated as a unit. but if the Hoffman supply was once again, plans for the second one telescope have been shelved. In April 1991, besides the fact that, the Keck beginning introduced it's going to fund the second one telescope. So, while Keck I, because the unique 10-meter telescope is now known as, used to be committed, plans have been already being made for Keck II. in reality the conventional Hawaiian flooring blessing for Keck II happened instantly after Keck i used to be devoted. the group went from the dome to a roped-off zone on the a ways finish of the observatory construction, the place Keck II will be equipped. numerous of the dignitaries covered up with o'o sticks—early Hawaiian digging implements. A Hawaiian chant used to be carried out whereas they attempted to appear like they have been digging up the crimson cinders. The commitment rite used to be through a dinner tomorrow. It used to be held on the Mauna Kea seashore inn a couple of miles from Waimea at the ocean. The emcee used to be Walter Cronkite, previously of CBS information. "We have been happy that Walter came," acknowledged Smith.

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