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Keck Observatory Receives Minimal Damage from Earthquake

Photonics.com
Oct 2006
The W. M. Keck Observatory in Kamuela, Hawaii, is recovering from a 6.6-magnitude earthquake and a series of aftershocks that struck off the west coast of Hawaii Sunday morning. The earthquake was the largest to hit Hawaii in 20 years and caused power and communication failures across the state. Officials report there were no injuries at the observatory, no damage to its computers or servers and power has been restored. Observing at the facility was canceled through Wednesday night and personnel are in the process of securing the facility, officials said. As of Monday afternoon, summit technicians reported that the primary mirrors of both Keck telescopes, the world's largest optical and infrared telescopes, are intact and do not appear damaged. However, some guiding and pointing systems have been impaired and must be returned to normal before observing can resume. On Monday, officials estimated it would take a few days to return Keck I to operational status and at least that long to restore Keck II. The observatory's headquarters are now open; scheduled observing teams are encouraged to contact Observing Director Bob Goodrich at (808) 881-3869 with questions about specific instruments or travel to Hawaii.


GLOSSARY
telescope
An afocal optical device made up of lenses or mirrors, usually with a magnification greater than unity, that renders distant objects more distinct, by enlarging their images on the retina.
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