Hugh Pickens writes: "California Institute of Technology and the University of California have announced they have received a $200 million commitment over nine years toward the further development and construction of the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT). The core of the TMT Observatory will be a wide-field, alt-az Ritchey-Chretien telescope with a 492 segment, 30 meter diameter primary mirror, a fully active secondary mirror and an articulated tertiary mirror. TMT will be the first ground-based astronomy telescope designed with adaptive optics as an integral system element. The adoptive optics will sense atmospheric turbulence in real-time, correct the optical beam of the telescope to remove its effect, and enable true diffraction-limited imaging on the ground. For many astronomical observations, this is equivalent to observing above the Earth's atmosphere at a fraction of a cost of a space-based observatory. Relative to the Hubble Space Telescope, TMT will have 144 times the collecting area and more than a factor of 10 better spatial resolution at near-infrared and longer wavelengths."
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