Of Course Australia Named Its New Galaxy-Searching Telescope After a Massive Spider

Of Course Australia Named Its New Galaxy-Searching Telescope After a Massive Spider
The Huntsman Telescope view from dome. Image: Macquarie University

Macquarie University has unveiled its latest piece of sky-searching tech, a telescope named after one of Australia’s favourite spider friends, the huntsman.

The Huntsman Telescope is touted by the uni as a novel telescope concept designed to ‘hunt’ for and study ultra-faint galaxies and astronomical objects in the Southern Sky. Just like our spider friends (named after their speed and mode of hunting).

The Huntsman Telescope comprises an array of 10 commercially available Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 L IS II super-telephoto lenses. And, it’s the only telescope of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

Huntsman Telescope
It’s huge, and that’s the telescope from within the dome. Image: Macquarie University

Located at the Siding Spring Observatory near Coonabarabran, NSW, the Huntsman Telescope will perform deep Southern Sky surveys to provide researchers with a unique understanding about galaxy formation and evolution. It will hopefully return data on how galaxies form, how they grow, how they engage with structures that surround them and what happens when galaxies collide.

Macquarie University reckons this information could help determine the fate of the Milky Way with Scientists theorising that our Galaxy is on course for a head-on collision with the Andromeda Galaxy in around 4.5 billion years. Yikes.

“The Huntsman Telescope is pioneering the way in which we view our Southern skies by capturing images of the faintest galaxy structures that conventional telescopes simply couldn’t,” said Dr Lee Spitler, from Macquarie University’s School of Mathematical & Physical Sciences.

“The ability to observe the remnants of galaxies colliding with each other and searching for the faintest and smallest galaxies in the universe, will help us understand the potential fate of the Milky Way in the far distant future.”

The uni provided a bunch of galaxy outputs from the Huntsman Telescope, so please enjoy:

Huntsman Telescope
Eagle Nest Nebula. Image: Sarah Caddy
Huntsman Telescope
Small Magellanic Cloud. Image: Macquarie University
Of Course Australia Named Its New Galaxy-Searching Telescope After a Massive Spider
Fighting Dragon Nubula. Image: Macquarie University
Of Course Australia Named Its New Galaxy-Searching Telescope After a Massive Spider
Trifid Nebula. Image: Sarah Caddy
Of Course Australia Named Its New Galaxy-Searching Telescope After a Massive Spider
Tarantula Nebula. Image: Sarah Caddy
Huntsman Telescope
Orion Nebula. Image: Sarah Caddy
Huntsman Telescope
Andromeda Galaxy. Image: Sarah Caddy

The Huntsman Telescope will be open to the public on 1 October 2022, as part of the annual StarFest. You can read more about the telescope here and check out some more cool space pics courtesy of the Webb Space Telescope over here.