United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT)

The United Kingdom Infrared Telescope is a 3.8m telescope located near the summit of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano on Hawaii.

Completed in 1979, the instrument is dedicated to observing the sky in the infrared part of the spectrum and has been used to study the formation of stars in the Milky Way. In 2000, scientists using the telescope published data which showed the presence of free-floating planets in the Orion Nebula.

Image: The UK Infrared Telescope (credit: UKIRT/JAC)

Watch and listen to clips from past programmes TV clips [4] Radio Programmes [1]



UKIRT observes the infrared sky.


UKIRT, the United Kingdom Infra-Red Telescope, is a 3.8 metre (150 inch) infrared reflecting telescope, the second largest dedicated infrared (1 to 30 micrometres) telescope in the world. Until 2014 it was operated by the Joint Astronomy Centre in Hilo and located on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i as part of Mauna Kea Observatory. It was owned by the United Kingdom Science and Technology Facilities Council. UKIRT is currently being funded by NASA and operated under a Scientific Cooperation Agreement among Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Arizona. The telescope is set to be decommissioned in the near future as part of the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan.

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