Sunday Photos: The solar system and the Large Size Telescope

Playing with a model solar system

On Saturday I brought up my model solar system for my clients.

The sun is too small. to be in scale with the planets, it ought to be 4m in diameter, but that’s rather inconvenient to fit in the car.
The first four planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) are marbles and too small to see in the photograph, but the girl in the foreground is holding up the Earth.

Jupiter is on the ground between the girls, an the girl at the back is holding up Saturn (obviously). Uranus and Neptune are further back.

We all had fun.

The huge mirror behind the girls is the Large Size Telescope, and the engineers are covering up the mirror again, presumably for engineering work. It’s important not to get direct sunlight on that massive mirror, because it would all be focused on the camera. People have been known to heat up lunch with just two smaller segments from the MAGIC telescope. (See so direct sun on 200-odd segments from the LST would roast the camera in short order.

Covering up the mirror of the Large Size Telescope, Roque deLos Muchachos, LaPalma island
Covering up the mirror of the Large Size Telescope

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

This article has 1 Comment

  1. “Earth” and “Saturn” had a lot of fun and a lot of learning, too.
    Thanks for the great time at the observatory!

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