In Arizona: White-Knuckle Astronomy

Marcia Rieke sits on a mound of dirt on a cold mountaintop, nearly two miles up in the clear Arizona sky, watching the sun go down and worrying. A shadow slowly creeps past her, cast by a nearby tan, four-story building that looks like a gigantic bread box. Inside the bread box is the Multiple Mirror Telescope, the world's third most powerful telescope. It looks like no other. There is no glistening dome; it might be a four-story barn. But there are 800 * tons of it, and it turns. The whole structure can pirouette 360 degrees, enormously simplifying the aiming...

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