The W. M. Keck Observatory went into operation twenty years ago, and at the time its twin 10m-telescopes made it the largest observatory in the world. It has been a phenomenally successful observatory, and has made important discoveries in many areas of astronomy. Honolulu magazine has a splendid slideshow that highlights some of Keck’s most important discoveries, including the first direct images of another solar system, and the discovery of a black hole at the center of our Galaxy.
The Observatory celebrated its 20th birthday with a recent science symposium. Here are the speakers:
Videos of the talks are are available on-line, along with a video of a live observing session. Together, these presentations give a fine summary of the scientific achievements of the Keck Observatory. Keck has another reason to celebrate: by the end of 2013, it will have a an archive that contains all the observations made with the active instruments: all of these data will eventually be made public.
A good starting point is Director Taft Armandroff’s summary of the state of the Observatory:
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