The winning entry in the STFC Photowalk competition

Experimental lipstick size robots, being developed through the UK's E-ELT instrumentation programme, were the subject of the winning entry in a national photography competition.

Get the Hex!


In this film, students from Royal High School and Broughton High School, both in Edinburgh, dance with silvery umbrellas to portray the 1.4metre hexagonal segments that are used in giant telescope mirrors - and the Earth-like planets and galaxies that astronomers study with these telescopes.

Big ground-based telescopes have mirrors made of many hexagons because a single mirror would twist or break under its own weight - or be too big to take to take up the mountain to the telescope. Big space telescopes have smaller mirrors but these also made of hexagons so that they can fold up for the rocket launch, and then open out when the telescope is in space.

Our partners and funders in the project were the Scottish Arts Council, Learning Teaching Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council.