Does seismic activity on Mauna Kea effect the operation of the telescopes there?
Asked by: Captain Darryl Welch
Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano. Seismic activity is much less of a concern than
The summit of Mauna Kea is home to a dozen or so world-class observatories. The
largest, and most well-known is the Keck Observatory.
According to their official website:
'On the telescope, each segment's figure is kept stable by a system of extremely
stable support structures and adjustable warping harnesses. During observing, a
computer-controlled system of sensors and actuators (or precision pistons)
adjusts the position of each segment - relative to its neighbors - to an accuracy of
four nanometers, or 1,000 times thinner than a human hair.'
'One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day.'