W. M. Keck Observatory
Mauna Kea Access Rd
Kamuela, Hawaii County, Hawaii, 96720
Photo: NASA License: Public Domain
The W. M. Keck Observatory is a two-telescope astronomical observatory at an elevation of 4,145 meters (13,600 ft) near the summit of Mauna Kea. They are considered the two most scientifically productive telescopes on Earth.
Because of this fundamental difference in design, Keck Observatory's telescopes arguably remain the largest steerable, optical/infrared telescopes on Earth.
The telescopes are equipped with a suite of instruments, both cameras and spectrometers that allow observations across much of the visible and near infrared spectrum.
The Keck Observatory is managed by the California Association for Research in Astronomy, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose board of directors includes representatives from Caltech and the University of California. Construction of the telescopes was made possible through private grants totaling more than $140 million provided by the W. M. Keck Foundation. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) joined the partnership in October 1996, at the time Keck II commenced observations.
Telescope time is allocated by the partner institutions. Caltech, the University of Hawaii System, and the University of California accept proposals from their own researchers. NASA accepts proposals from researchers based in the United States, while the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) accept proposals from researchers around the world.
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