The Galactic Center Group's research is carried out primarily using Keck Observatory Telescopes. In addition, group members are heavily involved with the designing of the Thirty Meter Telescope.
Keck Observatory - Mauna Kea, Hawaii
Our primary location for observing the SgrA* and the environs of the central galactic region is at the
Keck Observatory on the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
For over two decades, we have been using the 10m Keck I and Keck II telescopes, mapping
the orbits of objects within one parsec of the Galactic center. Our science have greatly benefited
from the Adaptive Optics (AO) the Keck telescopes have been equipped with since year 2000
(P.L. Wizinowich et al. 2000),
which allows a telescope to reach its diffraction limit (i.e. the telescope's 'full potential') and produce high resolution images. We predominantly
use the OSIRIS (a diffraction limited integral
infrared spectrograph) and the near IR imager NIRC2 at Keck II to acheive
our high-resolution images. Both the NIRC2 and OSIRIS instruments were co-developed/built/designed by the
TMT - The Thirty Meter Telescope at the Mauna Kea Summit
The Galactic Center Group members will have access to the future 30m telescope, which is currently being built and is expecting its first light in 2022. UCLA's Division of Astronomy plays an active role in its development and design; Galactic Center Group's Prof. Andrea Ghez
serves on the TMT science advisory committee, and Prof. James Larkin is the P.I. of
IRIS , which a first generation near-infrared (0.85-2.5 μm) instrument designed to sample the diffraction limit of the
"The 30-meter aperture permits the telescope to focus more sharply than smaller telescopes by using the power of diffraction of
light. The large aperture also collects more light than smaller scopes, allowing images of fainter objects. TMT
will therefore reach further and see more clearly than previous telescopes by a factor of 10 to 100
depending on the observation."
Read more at TMT.org
ADDITIONAL TELESCOPES THAT WE USE
In order to make a comprehensive picture of the Galactic Center region, the Galactic Center Group uses various telescopes spanning a wide range of wavelengths, from X-ray to radio.