Phillips Academy Observatory Briefing

**Tim Brothers: Future of Modern Astrophysical Observatories**

Tim Brothers, a site manager for Wallace Astrophysical Observatory (WAO) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, shared his perspective on the evolution and future prospects of modern astrophysical observatories. “In the nature of our field, we have to go to a lot of different places all over the world and take data, but we don’t have enough manpower. One thing we need to do is collaborate more, especially now that resources are scarce.” Brothers explained the capabilities and specifications of equipment available at the WAO, such as the 16- and 24-inch telescopes housed in its observatory.

Brothers’ visit was hosted by the Modern Physics Forum and Caroline Odden, Instructor in Physics. Odden hoped that Brother’s presentation would inspire students to undertake similar astrophysics oriented projects.

In the future, Andover students may also have the opportunity to engage in some of the projects conducted by the WAO, according to Brothers. “There’s always room for collaboration. I think it would be an interesting opportunity for the students at Andover to learn more about astronomy and for us to gather valuable research data,” he said in an interview with The Phillipian.

Gabor Furesz: Building the Giant Magellan Telescope

This past Tuesday, Gabor Furesz, Instrument Physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for the Department of Astrophysics, addressed members of the Andover community about the inner dynamics of building the Giant Magellan Telescope. He spoke about how the required technique and the necessary type of technology for this telescope has developed over the past four centuries.


“I wanted to show a side of astronomy that is different from the scientific aspect that, I believe, people mostly think about. That very significant other side of [astronomy] which is engineering and building things,” said Furesz.

“And lots of the people who are in high school are looking for what they are going to do next… in order to make that choice you have to see many sides of whatever is out there. So those interested astronomy and the technology might see a connection and find it intriguing to follow that path,” Furesz continued.

Furesz emphasized the importance of the telescope’s lense and the role of modern science in its technological development. The Magellan Telescope project, which receives funding from multiple institutions, will cost a total of $800 million.