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1 Overview of W. M. Keck Observatory - page 3 / 10





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Figure 2: The number of refereed publications per telescope per year for various observatories from Dennis Crabtree (Gemini Observatory).

Many of the WMKO publications that form the basis for Figures 1-3 were written by lead authors not associated with U.C., Caltech, or U.H.; a significant percentage have no authors from these institutions.  

Notable scientific results achieved using Keck Observatory and arising from NASA time allocations include: the discovery of dozens of extrasolar planets, including ones with masses less than that of Neptune; new information about the Uranus atmosphere and ring system from observations during the rare alignment of our line of sight and its ring plane; high-resolution spectra of comets revealing that comets contain a multitude of volatile organic compounds; and the Keck Interferometer spatially resolving gaseous and continuum emission in the protoplanetary accretion disks around 15 young stars.  These NASA achievements are more fully described in the state-of-the-profession paper “The Value of the Keck Observatory to NASA and Its Scientific Community.”  Notable TSIP scientific results with Keck include: the study of optically thick absorbers near luminous quasars; the luminosity function of Ly-alpha emitting galaxies at high redshift; and the orbits and masses of extrasolar planets, particularly planets revealed by extensive transit observations.

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