Learn about the Southern African Large Telescope, the biggest telescope on the southern hemisphere.
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A new super telescope is training its eye on the night skies. The Southern African Large Telescope or SALT is the largest optical telescope in the southern hemisphere. Analyzing what it sees in space would be a prime focus imaging spectrograph. Spectrometers are designed to break light down to different wavelengths. The results provide astronomers with far more information than simple pictures. By studying the spectra, they can determine the makeup of distant objects like stars and black holes. The instrument uses sets of precise lenses fittingly for a telescope named SALT; one set of lenses is made of pure sodium chloride. Scientists say the telescope and its spectrometer promise a unique window to the southern skies allowing them to probe the center of the Milky Way.