Term Project Plan


I am going to describe the W. M. Keck Observatory.

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Located on Mauna Kea, the W. M. Keck Observatory operates twin 10-meter optical/infrared telescopes, which are the world’s largest optical and infrared telescopes 2. The Observatory also operates the only large-aperture infrared interferometer in America. 1 In order to remove the influence of atmospheric blurring, the scientists and engineers at Keck Observatory applied a technique called adaptive optics (AO). In 1999, the Keck II telescope became the first large telescope equipped with an AO system around the world. In 2004, Keck Observatory deployed the first laser guide star adaptive optics system on a large telescope. The Laser Guide Star AO can provide crepier and clearer images than the ones sending from the Hubble Space Telescope.4


In terms of science productivity and results, the W. M. Keck Observatory is the top one among all ground-based observatories in the world as illustrated in a paper 1. Not to mention that plenty of astronomers have used Keck Observatory to obtain significant science results such as discoveries of extrasolar planets and volatiles in the solar system 2








I will use short podcast format for my term project.





1 Armandroff, T. (2009). The Role of the WM Keck Observatory in US Astronomy.    In astro2010: The Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey (Vol. 2010).


2 Akeson, R., Greene, T., Gelino, C., Johnson, J. A., Gelino, D., Swain, M., & Howard, A. (2009). The Value of the Keck Observatory to NASA and Its Scientific Community.