World’s Largest Solar Telescope is Set to Rise Atop Haleakala

Why am I always the last to hear of things?

The Advanced Technology Solar Telescope will require air jets to keep its 4-metre mirror cool. T. Kekona/K.C. Environmental

After being thwarted for years by objections from Hawaiian native groups, the world’s largest solar telescope is set to rise atop Haleakala, the dormant volcano that is the highest mountain on the island of Maui.

On 9 November, Hawaii’s Board of Land and Natural Resources issued a construction permit for the 4-metre Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST), which with a 43.5-metre-tall enclosure will tower over the many other astronomical facilities on the mountain. The project will begin removing rocks and grading the 3,084-metre summit site as early as next week…

Full Story here: Giant Sun Scope Clears Final Hurdle

University of Arizona Awarded Millions to Shape Maui’s Advanced Technology Solar Telescope

Everyone on the Big Island has been so worried about the Thirty Meter Telescope project on top of Mauna Kea… I think a lot of folks have forgotten about the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope that is going to be built on Haleakala over on Maui.

Proposed site for the ATST

When finished, the 4.2m mirror will be the largest telescope mirror ever pointed at the sun. Polished into a highly complex, asymmetric shape, it will be the centerpiece of the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope in Hawaii, allowing researchers to study the sun in unprecedented detail.

The University of Arizona’s College of Optical Sciences has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, or AURA, to polish the 4.2m primary mirror for the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope, or ATST.

When operational in Hawaii, the ATST will become the world’s largest solar telescope. This glass mirror will serve as the primary focusing element to create high-resolution images of the fine scale structure of the sun…

More here: UA Awarded Millions to Shape Telescope Mirror