Mount Wilson Observatory has a rich history of astronomical research and discovery spanning nearly 10 decades. As the centennial approaches, Mount Wilson Observatory continues to conduct research and develop new instruments. There are not only long-term observing projects developed during the last century in operation, but state-of-the-art telescopes and cutting-edge instrumentation operating and under development at the observatory.
IBM is researching an exaflop machine with the processing power of about one billion PCs. The machine will be used to help process the Exabyte of data per day expected to flow off the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope project. The company is also researching solid state storage technology called 'racetrack memory' which is much faster and denser than flash and may hold the secret to storing the data from the SKA. The story also says that the SKA is unlikely to use grid computing or a cloud-based approach to processing the telescope data due to challenge in transferring so much data (about one thousand million 1Gb memory sticks each day).
The following is a list of the largest optical reflecting telescopes sorted by mirror diameter. Note that two of the first three are not yet operational. This list does not currently include telescopes that are still in the conceptual/proposed stage, such as the Overwhelmingly Large Telescope or the European Extremely Large Telescope; the design stage, such as the Thirty Meter Telescope; or ones still in the early stages of manufacturing such as the Giant Magellan Telescope.
The Hobby-Eberly Telescope is a 9.2 meter telescope located at the McDonald Observatory. It combines a number of features that differentiate it from most telescope designs, resulting in greatly lowered construction costs.
A refracting or refractor telescope is a dioptric telescope that uses a lens as its objective to form an image. The refracting telescope design was originally used in spy glasses and astronomical telescopes but is also used in other devices such as binoculars and long or telephoto camera lenses.
The Large Binocular Telescope (LBT, originally named the Columbus Project) is located on 10,700-foot Mount Graham in the Pinaleno Mountains of southeastern Arizona and is a part of the Mount Graham International Observatory. As of 2008[update], the LBT is the world's highest resolution and most technologically advanced optical telescope, creating images in the near-infrared with 10 times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope
The William Herschel Telescope or WHT was first conceived in the late 1960s, when the Anglo-Australian Observatory was being designed. The British astronomical community saw the need for telescopes of comparable power in the Northern Hemisphere. Planning began in 1974, but by 1979 the project was on the verge of being scrapped due to a ballooning budget. A re-design cut the price-tag substantially, and Dutch astronomers took a 20% stake in the project, allowing the project to be given the go-ahead in 1981. That year was the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Uranus by William Herschel, and it was decided to name the telescope in his honour. The telescope is a member of the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes.
WorldWide Telescope, developed by Microsoft's research arm, knits together images from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory Center, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and others. Windows users (only) can browse through the galaxy on their own or take guided tours of different outer-space destinations developed by astronomers and academics. The application allows viewing from different wavelengths such as X-ray, visible light, and hydrogen-alpha radiation. Business Week has a review and some background on the project, which has been in development for years. Google Sky beat them to the punch but Business Week opines that WWT's interface is superior.