Infrared Telescope Facility


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Infrared Telescope Facility

(IRTF) A 3.0-meter infrared telescope at the Mauna Kea Observatory, Hawaii, that began operations in 1979 and is operated by the University of Hawaii's Institute of Astronomy on behalf of NASA, which funds the IRTF as a national facility. The telescope has a Cer-Vit primary mirror and an equatorial mounting.
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These observatories, which are about to be joined by the Space Infrared Telescope Facility, launched late last month, are shedding light on galaxy assembly in a way that no single telescope, looking at the sky at a limited set of wavelengths, could ever manage.
Using the 3-meter NASA Infrared Telescope Facility atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii, Mumma and his colleagues took spectra through long, narrow slits at five different longitude bands that extend from pole to pole.
In April, NASA plans to launch the Space Infrared Telescope Facility. The spacecraft will view the universe at infrared wavelengths that can't penetrate Earth's atmosphere and will provide a panorama 30 times larger than both Hubble Deep Fields combined.
The evidence comes from a team of US astronomers using the Gemini North telescope and NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) both on Hawaii's Mauna Kea.
Mumma's group found the gas in observations using NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility in Hawaii and the 8.1-meter Gemini South telescope in Chile.
In a few months, NASA is scheduled to launch the Space Infrared Telescope Facility. In conjunction with SOFIA, an infrared telescope mounted in an airplane, researchers plan to more accurately measure the lifetime of protoplanetary disks--especially the gaseous components so critical for making Jupiterlike planets, says Mayer.
Following up on a tip by an amateur astronomer, Anthony Wesley of Australia, that a new dark "scar" had suddenly appeared on Jupiter, scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, using NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility at the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, gathered evidence indicating an impact.
Last August 25th, as NASA's Space Infrared Telescope Facility climbed into orbit, mission scientists faced incredibly high expectations.
Rivkin of MIT used NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility atop Hawaii's Mauna Kea to determine the spectrum of the body.
In December astronomers showed off some spectacular early results from the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) and also took the occasion to rename it.
The Space Infrared Telescope Facility, scheduled for launch next year, will test Stern's ideas by measuring the size and reflectivity of Kuiper belt objects.--R.C.
NASA'S SPACE INFRARED TELESCOPE Facility (SIRTF) is poised to do for infrared astronomy what the Chandra X-ray Observatory did for X-ray astronomy: open up new vistas by peering more deeply than ever before in a waveband not detectable from the ground.

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