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::List of largest optical reflecting telescopes

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Large::united    Single::mirror    States::optical    Title::mirrors    Chile::largest    Aperture::gemini

Gran Telescopio Canarias, Canary IslandsKeck Telescope (two units), HawaiiSubaru Telescope, Hawaii
Hobby–Eberly Telescope, TexasLarge Binocular Telescope, ArizonaVery Large Telescope (four units), Chile
Southern African Large TelescopeGemini North Observatory, HawaiiGemini South Observatory, Chile
The world's largest optical reflecting telescopes with an aperture diameter of larger than 8 meters (hover with mouse over image)

Legend:
GTC · Keck · Subaru
HET · LBT · VLT
SALT · Gemini (N) · Gemini (S)

This list of the largest optical reflecting telescopes with objective diameters of {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} or greater is sorted by aperture, which is one limit on the light-gathering power and resolution of a reflecting telescope's optical assembly. The mirrors themselves can be larger than the aperture, and telescopes may use aperture synthesis achieved by interferometry. Telescopes designed to be used as optical astronomical interferometers such as the Keck I and II used together as the Keck Interferometer (up to 85 m) can reach very high resolutions, although at a narrower range of observations. When the two mirrors are on one mount, the combined mirror spacing of the Large Binocular Telescope (22.8 m) allows fuller use of the aperture synthesis.

Largest does not always equate to being the best telescopes, and overall light gathering power of the optical system can be a poor measure of a telescope's performance. Space-based telescopes, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, take advantage of being above the Earth's atmosphere to reach higher resolution and greater light gathering through longer exposure time. Location in the northern or southern hemisphere of the Earth can also limit what part of the sky can be observed.


List of largest optical reflecting telescopes sections
Intro  Table of reflecting telescopes  Top telescopes of 2010  Top telescopes of 2000  Chronologically   Future telescopes   See also  References  Further reading  [[List_of_largest_optical_reflecting_telescopes?section=External</a>_links|External</a> links]]  

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