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Langlade County News

An Antigonian Visits the Discovery Channel Telescope

November 26, 2012

Dr. Maggie Turnbull, an Antigonian, visited the Discovery Channel Telescope in Flagstaff, Ariz. recently and sent a picture to us at the Antigo Daily Journal of a tag on that scope’s massive gear drive.

It says, “Merit Gear Corp., Antigo, Wisconsin.”

The telescope that can peer into the universe is located at Lowell University in Flagstaff and is the fifth largest in the United States. It carried a price tag of $53 million.

And while there are components perhaps more critical to operation of this equipment— and there certainly are — Antigo and its craftsmen and businessmen and women had a role.

And here it is at the base of what they call an azimuth drive that carries the name of our hometown, Antigo.

Now, there’s another reason for more than a bit of pride. Maybe that telescope will be credited with amazing discoveries, and when they are made, we suggest Antigo’s Dr. Turnbull won’t be far from the astronomical action.

——————

Maggie is a true expert.

She received her Ph.D in astronomy from the University of Arizona and is recognized as an authority on star systems which may have habitable planets.

In fact, she and another astronomer, Jill Tarter, have developed a catalog of potentially habitable locations in the stellar system.

In 2007 she was cited as a “Genius” by CNN for her work on stars most likely to develop planets that could support life and intelligent civilizations.

So it was natural she was working with the Discovery Channel Telescope, with the gear drive from her hometown of Antigo.

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