Quantum telescope could make giant mirrors obsolete

Published in Physics World, 29 Apr 2014

Quantum mechanics, rather than a huge telescope, could be the best route to high-resolution space images, according to new research carried out in the UK. If confirmed, a telescope of any size could resolve ever-smaller features of the night sky, allowing astronomers to discover exoplanets and other distant objects much more easily than is currently possible.

The Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) telescope on the volcanic island of La Palma in the Canary Islands is a prime example of a massive telescope. With a mirror spanning more than 10 metres, it is the biggest single-aperture optical telescope in the world, and has delivered some of the clearest images ever recorded of distant galaxies, globular clusters and nebulae. But the GTC was not cheap to build: it cost €130 million and took seven years. […]

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