United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT)


The United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) is a 3.8-meter telescope that is the world's largest dedicated solely to infrared astronomy. It opened in 1979, is sited near the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, at an altitude of 4,194 meters, and operates at wavelengths between 1 and 30 microns. In 2002, it was equipped with a revolutionary new spectrometer, the UKIRT Imaging Spectrometer (UIST), that can effectively slice any celestial object into sections and so produce a three-dimensional view of the conditions throughout entire galaxies, for example, in a single observation. UKIRT is owned by the U.K. Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council and operated along with the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope by the staff of the Joint Astronomy Centre.