The Subaru Telescope is an 8.2-meter telescope located on Mauna Kea at 4,205 meters in Hawaii. Named after the open Pleiades cluster, it opens at the National Observatory of Japan.

His name was chosen by a public competition in 1991, and he saw the first light – that is, he made the first observations in January 1999. In September of the same year, Princess Sayako of Japan visited the telescope.

Let’s say here that astronomers to make observations use special cameras that record what the telescope sees and cannot see with the naked eye. For the princess’s visit, a special eyepiece was made so she could see through the telescope itself, which astronomers there used for a few nights before replacing it with scientific observation equipment.

It has one of the largest mirrors in the world and this allows it to observe deep sky objects such as galaxy clusters, distant galaxies or even the faintest objects in our own Milky Way and our solar system.

Its mirror was a heavy piece of construction and took over 3.5 years to build with checks at every step as the slightest imperfection would cause problems in observations. A telescope not only needs the mirror to observe but also the base and the software and thus various instruments used in the observation. Japanese companies such as Sony, Fujitsu, Canon and others helped achieve this goal.

As it is a large undertaking, over the years to date there have been several accidents either with workers working there, or with instruments. Most recently in September 2023, a piece of one of the telescope’s sensors fell into the main mirror, and it has been under repair ever since, with monthly status reports.

Some of the discoveries it has given us are:

  1. It has discovered the most distant objects in our solar system, such as the planetoid Far-far-out, which is 4 times farther from the sun than Pluto and is one of the most distant objects orbiting our star. Later observations, with other telescopes, determined its orbit. (Photo: fafarout, Caption¨photo showing the planetoid in two observations in January 2018
  1. He has photographed the largest clusters and superclusters of galaxies, i.e. galaxies that are gravitationally bound to their surroundings and their dark matter and thus create the largest structures in the universe. (Photo: clusters, Description 5.5 billion light years away, a huge supercluster in which 19 galaxy clusters were also detected,

Many other investigations have been based on his observations in the astronomical community about galaxies, black holes, the cosmic web, the search for habitable zones on other planets, etc.