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Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lenses for Expansion of the Dragonfly Telephoto Array Project

Photo Credits: Pieter van Dokkum

Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the company will provide technical assistance to Project Dragonfly, an international research team from Yale University and the University of Toronto, in its plan to expand the Dragonfly Telephoto Array. The company will provide the project with 120 Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM large-aperture super-telephoto single-focal length lenses, and its parent company, Canon Inc., will provide technical assistance.

The Dragonfly Telephoto Array is a telescope array equipped with multiple Canon large-aperture super-telephoto single focal length lenses – specifically, the Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens. The telescope was designed in 2013 by Project Dragonfly, an international research team from Yale University and the University of Toronto. The Dragonfly Telephoto Array is capable of capturing images of galaxies that are so faint and large that they had escaped detection by even the largest conventional telescopes. Its mission is to study the low surface brightness universe to elucidate the nature of dark matter and to utilize the concept of distributed telescopes.

In support of this research, Canon provided technical assistance by supplying 40 Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lenses in 2015, expanding the array to 48 lenses with 24 telescopes bundled on two separate mounts. Since then, the research team has produced significant results in extragalactic astronomy, including discovering the ultra-diffuse galaxy Dragonfly 44 in 2016 and the identification of a galaxy that lacks dark matter, NGC 1052-DF2, in 2018.

This time, Canon will provide technical assistance by supplying 120 Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lenses to the research team, enabling further expansion of the telescope array. With a total of 168 lenses, the telescope array has a light-gathering capability equivalent to that of a refracting telescope of 1.8 meters in diameter, with a focal length of only 40 cm, and is expected to open new windows on the universe.

Canon is committed to contributing to the development of science and technology by leveraging the technological strengths it has cultivated as a leading imaging company.




Photo taken with Dragonfly Telephoto Array. Photo Credits: Pieter van Dokkum

Professor Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University comments, “ The Dragonfly Telephoto Array is the pre-eminent survey telescope for finding faint, diffuse objects in the night sky. It has enabled us to discover ultra-diffuse galaxies and other low-surface brightness phenomena—rendering images that deepen our understanding of how galaxies are formed and providing key insights into the nature of dark matter. The initial array was equipped with 48 Canon 400mm telephoto lenses featuring anti-reflection coatings that mitigate the effects of light scattering, overcoming the limitations of conventional telescopes in detecting faint structures. The lenses are coupled to monolithic wide-field detectors that permit excellent error control. With the addition of 120 of these lenses, in a newly developed configuration allowing extremely narrow filters to be used, Dragonfly will be the most powerful wide-field spectroscopic line mapping machine in existence. A major goal of the next iteration of the Dragonfly array is to detect and study the faint gas thought to exist around and between galaxies. By opening this new window on the cosmos, Dragonfly will tackle some of the most critical questions in astrophysics today.”

About Canon Group

Ever since its foundation in 1937, Canon is guided by the ‘Kyosei’ philosophy of living and working together for the common good. Canon strives to create and deliver world-class products, becoming a top global corporation by diversifying into new business fields throughout the world. Focusing on optical technologies, Canon produces office equipment, consumer and professional imaging devices, network cameras, healthcare, and industrial equipment. Through the close connection between its global head office in Tokyo and regional headquarters in America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and regional headquarters in Japan, Canon combines its global and local operations organically. In 1996, Canon launched its Excellent Global Corporation Plan to serve society with advanced technologies and become a trustworthy and responsible corporate citizen. The year 2016 was the first year of Phase 5 of the Plan. Currently, Canon boasts a strong global presence of 376 subsidiaries all over the world, supported by 197,776 employees. (Data as of December 31, 2017)

About Canon India

Canon India Pvt. Ltd. is the sales and marketing subsidiary of Canon Inc., a world leader in imaging technologies. Set up in 1997, Canon India markets a comprehensive range of sophisticated contemporary digital imaging products and solutions in India. The company today has offices in 10 cities across India with warehousing facilities at 6 locations and employs over 1000 staff and over 850 channel partners. Canon India enjoys a vast retail presence across the country through Canon Image Square (CIS) stores, PIXMA Zones and BIS Lounges. Canon India’s service reach extends to over 600 towns covering 18,607 PIN codes across India – which comprises of 169 Camera collection points, 16 Camera repair centers, 283 Printer repair centers, 191 Copier, Scanner and Large Format Printer Sales & Service dealers (Data as of July 22, 2021).

In sync with its corporate tagline- ‘Delighting You Always’, reinforced by World-class technology, Canon offers an extended product portfolio, including Digital Production Printers, Large Format Printers, Commercial Printers, Multi-Functional Devices, Managed Document Services, Inkjet & Laser Printers, Document and Cheque Scanners, Digital Cameras, DSLRs, Mirrorless cameras, Cinematic Imaging Products, Surveillance cameras and Medical Imaging products catering to the multiple market segments of consumer, SME, B2B, Commercial, Government & PSUs.

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