Innovation in Instrumentation
New developments in technology have always driven breakthroughs in our understanding of the Universe. And the Dunlap Institute is ensuring continued discoveries through the conception, design and development of innovative instrumentation projects.
For two and a half centuries after Galileo first turned a telescope to the sky, astronomers studied the objects they saw with nothing more than their eyes. Then, in the 1800s, they increased the light-gathering power of their telescopes with cameras, and began unravelling the light of stars by passing it through prisms.
Today, instead of photographic plates and film, detectors capture the light gathered by telescopes. Integral-field spectrographs reveal the composition, temperature and motion of astronomical objects. Computers sift through the data to reveal minute phenomena.
Combined with the next generation of large Earth-based and space telescopes, and revolutionary technologies like adaptive optics, instruments developed by the Dunlap and our partners will lead to discoveries that span the depths of the Universe—from our Solar System, to the stars and nebulae of the Milky Way Galaxy, to the galaxies beyond, and to the beginning of time.