A consortium of eight UK universities, led by Queens University Belfast, is building cameras for the USD 344 million super telescope which will be situated in Hawaii.
    
The Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST), which will be launched in 2019, is being constructed by US National Solar Observatory on Haleakala mountain in Maui, Hawaii.
    
With a four-metre diameter primary mirror, the telescope will be able to pick up unprecedented detail on the surface of the Sun - the equivalent of being able to examine a one pound coin from 100kms away.
    
It is hoped that DKIST will address fundamental questions at the core of contemporary solar physics via high-speed spectroscopic and magnetic measurements of the solar photosphere, chromosphere and corona - the different layers of the Sun's atmosphere.
    
"The development of this telescope provides great potential for us to make earlier forecasts of space weather hazards, such as identifying solar winds which can cause huge disruption to life on Earth," Professor Michail Balikhin from the University of Sheffield said.
    
"The new high-resolution cameras used by the telescope will provide an unprecedented amount of solar image data," Dr Viktor Fedun from the University's Solar Wave Theory Group added.
    
"The Sun is the most important astronomical object for humankind with solar activity driving space weather and having profound effects on global climate and technology-based communications," Professor Mihalis Mathioudakis, Principal Investigator of UK consortium, said.
    
"To understand solar activity we need to observe and model the physical processes in the solar atmosphere on their intrinsic spatial and temporal scales so that, among other questions, we can reliably forecast this activity in space," said Mathioudakis.

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