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The Dragonfly Telephoto Array is increasing to have 168 Canon 400mm f/2.8L IS USM II lenses pointed on the sky


Undertaking Dragonfly, designed by a group from Yale College and the College of Toronto in 2013 is an try and seize the darkest elements of the sky which might be so faint that they’ve managed to flee the gaze of extra typical telescopes – even the actually large ones. The design was constructed utilizing an array of three Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM II lenses to start with in what they known as the Dragonfly Telephoto Array.

It was expanded to 10 lenses and in 2015, Canon provided 40 extra EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM II lenses to the group, bringing their whole as much as 48 in two 24-lens items. Now, with some extra assist from Canon, the group goes to place collectively 4 extra of the Dragonfly Telephoto Array items for a complete of 168 400mm f/2.8 lenses pointed in the direction of the sky to seize the darkest galaxies within the universe.

The preliminary Dragonfly Telephoto Array, comprised of three Canon 400mm f/2.8L IS USM II lenses

The lenses act as a type of compound eye, wanting up in the direction of the skies from their house in New Mexico, with each enhancing the skills of the others. Consider capturing numerous photographs in your digicam after which stacking and making a ultimate picture by combining all of them collectively. That’s type of what’s taking place right here, solely with a number of cameras concurrently. Every lens is coupled along with a science-grade SBIG STF-8300M CCD digicam and the entire rig is mounted on a Paramount ME-II mount.

Concerning the Dragonfly Telephoto Array, Canon says:

The Dragonfly Telephoto Array is a telescope array geared up with a number of Canon large-aperture super-telephoto single focal size lenses – particularly, the Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens. The telescope was designed in 2013 by Undertaking Dragonfly, a world analysis group from Yale College and the College of Toronto. The Dragonfly Telephoto Array is able to capturing photographs of galaxies which might be so faint and enormous that they’d escaped detection by even the biggest typical telescopes. Its mission is to review the low floor brightness universe to elucidate the character of darkish matter and to make the most of the idea of distributed telescopes.

In assist of this analysis, Canon supplied technical help by supplying 40 Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lenses in 2015, increasing the array to 48 lenses with 24 telescopes bundled on two separate mounts. Since then, the analysis group has produced important leads to extragalactic astronomy, together with discovering the ultra-diffuse galaxy Dragonfly 44 in 2016 and the identification of a galaxy that lacks darkish matter, NGC 1052-DF2, in 2018.

In the mean time, every telescope system stands at 24 400mm f/2.8L IS USM II lenses and there are two such programs. To place this into some perspective, in the event you needed to construct one among these 24-lens items for your self, you in all probability wouldn’t get a lot change from $300,000. And Dragonfly goes to be working six of them quickly, because of 120 extra lenses being contributed by Canon. This is able to convey every unit as much as 28 lenses for a complete of 168 lenses and cameras pointed on the sky.

This time, Canon will present technical help by supplying 120 Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lenses to the analysis group, additional increasing the telescope array. With a complete of 168 lenses, the telescope array has a light-gathering functionality equal to that of a refracting telescope of 1.8 meters in diameter, with a focal size of solely 40 cm, and is anticipated to open new home windows on the universe.

The view utilizing the Dragonfly Telephoto Array – moon for scale / Picture by Pieter van Dokkum, Yale College

The array has to this point produced some superb imagery and the group says they’ve had some important outcomes, together with the invention of the ultra-dfifuse galaxy Dragonfly 44 in 2016 and the identification of NGC 1052-DF2, a galaxy that lacks darkish matter, in 2018.

I can’t wait to see what a set of 168 lenses all pointed in the direction of the identical topic directly can uncover!



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