Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii begins operation, will be able to detect extrasolar planets as well

Friday, June 18, 2010

Another big piece of news yesterday was this, the beginning of operations for the Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii. That article and most others, however, only refer to the ability of this 1.8-metre telescope to detect objects such as asteroids with its 1.4 gigapixel camera. That in itself is a nice piece of news, but what is more interesting can be seen here on the homepage of the telescope itself, where apparently the telescope will be able to notice dozens to hundreds of transits that can then be followed up by other telescopes, and it is sensitive enough to detect a planet of our size passing in front of a brown dwarf.

So just to recap over the past two weeks: over the past week we've seen:

...and this new telescope as well.

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