The Weizmann Institute of Science is building a new observatory in the Negev, near kibbutz Neot Smadar. It will consist of 48 telescopes – each featuring a 28-cm mirror – with an extremely wide field of view. The new array will be equivalent to a 1.9 m-diameter telescope, and will possess the best sky scanning capabilities in the world – three times better than any other telescope on Earth.
While in initial stages of assembly several months ago, the array of telescopes already observed NASA’s DART vessel’s collision with the Dimorphos asteroid. The results of this research, led by Weizmann Institute scientists, will be published soon.
The project is headed by Prof. Eran Ofek and Dr. Sagi Ben-Ami of Weizmann’s Particle Physics and Astrophysics Department. Director of the new observatory, Dr. David Polishook, tells us more about the telescope array and its new capabilities: