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Unique telescope to hunt meteorites at Kazan’s new observatory

June 23, 2013, 5:40 UTC+3
The Megatortor telescope costs 32 million rubles
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KAZAN, June 23 (Itar-Tass) - A unique complex of the Kazan (Privolzhskiy) Federal University will open at the Astronomical Observatory of the Kazan State University on Sunday. Rustam Minnikhanov, the president of Tatarstan, will attend the opening ceremony, the presidential press service reports.

A building with two cupolas and a 100-seat demonstration hall was erected in a pine forest. “A Megatortor telescope intended for continuous observation of the celestial semi-sphere has been mounted in the hall,” Yuri Nefedyev, the planetarium’s director, said. The scientist added that there were more telescopes like Megatortor in other countries but all of them were single-channel and can observe only tiny pieces of the sky.

"Megatortor” consists of nine minor telescopes of ten centimeters in diameter. Each of them observes its section of the sky. That is why all the sky is under control. If a quick movement happens somewhere, all the nine telescopes immediately turn on that point and study the c celestial process with high resolution.

"The telescope can detect a small meteorite, any screw nut or other space garbage,” Nefedyev clarified.

The Megatortor telescope costs 32 million rubles. It was manufactured by a special astro-physical observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The new planetarium can also boast of a new “Sazhen-TM” quantum optical system that specifies elements of satellite orbits and supports the GLONASS system.

The planetarium and an astronomical park lie on an area of 21 hectares. The park has research laboratories, classrooms with models of the Solar System and space scales as well as an astronomical museum and a hotel.

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