August 30, 2013 – A $75,000 Telescope Was Used to Discover Two New Planets: A small telescope, no bigger nor more powerful than a high-end digital camera, has helped researchers discover two new planets, both similar in makeup to the gas giant Jupiter. Pictured above, a drawing of KELT-1b, which is about 30 times the mass of Jupiter.
KELT-1b is about 825 light-years from Earth, KELT-2Ab about 360. Each planet receives thousands of times more sunlight from its star than the Earth does from the Sun. Researchers identified the planets using the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope, or KELT, housed at Winer Observatory, near Sonoita, Ariz., which cost less than $75,000 to build. The most expensive telescopes in the world cost billions of dollars.
With a 42-millimeter lens, the instrument is “sort of like the little telescope that could. An amateur could buy the components and assemble this very easily. Follow the link below for the complete story. (Note: Originally published June 19, 2012).
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