Items tagged with Smithsonian

The consortium governing the planning and construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope — which will be the worlds largest optical telescope when completed — has approved its $500 million assembly phase, which is roughly half of the project's $1 billion overall budget. The massive celestial-gazing instrument and its support facility will be built in Chile, on the Las Campanas Peak in the Andes mountain range. A seven-mirror telescope spanning 25.5 meters, or nearly 84 feet, the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) will focus six times the amount of light that is harnessed by the biggest optical telescopes... Read more...
Great ape keepers at the Smithsonian's National Zoo found themselves inspired by an "Apps for Apes" program that's been implemented in a dozen zoos around the world, and so they decided to try it out with their six orangutans. Each orangutan is able to interact with an iPad tablet, though only if they show interest. It's not required that they spend time tapping the touchscreen, though many of them seem to be enjoying the experience, such as 36-year-old Bonnie who likes to bang on the drums. "Apps for Apes fits perfectly in this new era of zoo keeping," said Becky Malinsky, great ape keeper at... Read more...