MMTO : Mt. Hopkins Arizona
On this day in history : January 6th, 1987
Astronomers reported witnessing the birth of a giant galaxy for the first time. The researchers focused on 3C 326.1 with the Very Large Array radio telescope in New Mexico and with optical telescopes at Lick Observatory near San Jose and at the Multiple Mirror Observatory (Details Below) and Kitt Peak National Observatory (West of Image) in Arizona.
Using special filters, they detected mostly extreme blue light from the object and some other colors. The blue light indicates most of the object is a huge cloud of electrically charged hydrogen gas about three times bigger than our own Milky Way galaxy.
The cloud is about 100 times brighter than the starlight, suggesting that the cloud is in the earliest stages of galaxy formation and will continue to collapse to spawn many more stars.
The MMT Observatory (MMTO) is an astronomical observatory on the site of Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory.
The Whipple observatory complex is located on Mount Hopkins, Arizona in the Santa Rita Mountains (Bottom Right).
The observatory is run by the University of Arizona and the Smithsonian Institution, and has a visitor center in nearby Amado, Arizona.
The MMTO is the home of the MMT (formerly Multiple Mirror Telescope), which currently has a primary mirror 6.5 m in diameter. The name originally comes from the fact that the light gathering for the telescope was done by six smaller mirrors before the current primary mirror was installed. The current mirror has a special lightweight honeycomb design made by the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory.
From 2004 to 2010, approximately 8% of MMT observing time was made accessible to the entire astronomical community via the US National Science Foundation's Telescope System Instrumentation Program (TSIP), administered by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO
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Overlay Source Image: NASA Johnson