Monday, July 16, 2007

Queen of Telescopes

The world's largest optical telescope, with a mirror diameter equivalent of 34 feet was inaugurated in the Canary Islands. On hand to open was Brian May, the guitarist of Queen, who is a PhD Candidate in Astronomy.

Currently, its adaptive optics system controls 12 hexagonal segments of the primary mirror for testing and observations. Later, when fully operational, the telescope will use 36 movable segments.

Observatorio de Roque de los Muchachos (translated as Observatory of Castle of the Boys) is an astronomical observatory that is operated by the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (Canaries Astrophysics Institute), a part of the European Northern Observatory.

The second largest telescopes in the world, by usable mirror size, are the twin Keck telescopes on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, in the United States, which have mirror diameters that measure 10 meters (32.8 feet) across. It is interesting to note that the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, also in the United States—near Fort Davis, Texas in the southwestern part of the state—and the South African Large Telescope have larger mirrors but only a portion of each mirror is able to be used when making observations.

Nothing follows.


Blogger Pax Federatica said...

May's fascination with space was well-known even when he was with Queen. He even wrote and sang lead on a one of Queen's best-known and popular songs about the time dilation effect associated with near-light-speed space travel.

7/16/2007 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger ForNow said...

"...Observatorio de Roque de los Muchachos (translated as Observatory of Castle of the Boys)..."

Sounds like Young Dudes Rock Observatory! I still remember Queen & Mott the Hoople at the Uris Theater in NYC, final performance. I was there with two chicas calientes, and Queen had the theater spinning on all axes. Go Brian! For so many years have passed, though we feel older but a year, Proper time τ = sqrt(t²-(d/c)²) !

7/17/2007 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Queen was great for no nuance songs like we will rock you and flash, and we are the champions

These songs tend to be high school football fight songs & sock hop favorites.

I'd be interested in hearing what tunes US & Brit drivers like to play when they're driving over ied roads.

7/17/2007 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...


The song looks ahead to the year 39 in the land our "grandchildren knew".

7/17/2007 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger ForNow said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/17/2007 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger ForNow said...

With exceptions for songs like "Bohemian Rhapsody," "The Year of '39," "The Prophet Song," and the stadium pleasers, I liked the first two albums best -- lots of hard rock with melody, hamony, dynamics, and composition. We and the rest of the crowd at the Uris could hardly believe it. The kids nowadays, o tempora o mores, damned MTV ruined it all years ago, etc.

7/17/2007 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Way to go, May. The reason, as much as Freddy, why Queen outsold the Beatles in record sales in the UK. May's unique riffs are unmatched. There may have been more technically adept and nuanced and faster guitarists, but no one out-riffed May.

Bright guy.
Besides his outstanding scholarship in math and physics, May was also into electronics and cutting edge musical innovations - starting with his famous "Red Special" guitar he built of wood from an old mantlepiece as a teen. It was designed by May with radically different wiring and polarities than any electric guitar then on the market, and he took his homemade guitar and repros of it into the studio for some of Queens most noted songs.

An accomplished man.

(With quirks like back when May raised hell in a few astrophysics journals about the "Deep Impact" probe violating a pristine comet)

Anyhow, my wishes that Brian May is soon Dr. May and one day has the opportunity to enjoy some time on the big American multi-mirror telescopes that will soon dwarf his little one..

7/17/2007 04:37:00 PM  

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