The World’s Most Spectacular Observatories

Published October 18, 2012
Updated November 13, 2013

Roque de los Muchachos Observatory

Roque de los Muchachos Observatory

Source: Turismo Estelar, http://www.turismoestelar.com/wp-content/observatorioroque.jpg

Acknowledged as one of the best locations for optical and infrared astronomy in the Northern Hemisphere, the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory houses the Gran Telescopio Canarias, which currently boasts the title of the world’s largest single-aperture optical telescope. 

Roque de los Muchachos Observatory

Source: Astronomy.com, http://cs.astronomy.com/cfs-filesystemfile.ashx/__key/CommunityServer.Blogs.Components.WeblogFiles/daves_2D00_universe.Telescopes/7585.Observatory-del-Roque_5F00_900.jpg

South Pole Telescope

South Pole 
Telescope

Source: The Sietch, http://www.blog.thesietch.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/s_pole_telescope_h.jpg

This 10 meter in diameter telescope known as the SPT is situated at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. It began astronomical observations in March 2007 and conducts research that hopes to provide data on clusters of galaxies, dark energy and cosmic microwave background radiation, which in layman’s terms is the Big Bang’s afterglow. The Antarctic site was chosen because of its almost two mile elevation and the lack of atmospheric moisture which obscures and warps the light passing through it.

South Pole Telescope

Source: McGill, http://publications.mcgill.ca/reporter/files/2008/09/img_6740.jpg