The CHARA (Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy) Array is currently under construction on Mt. Wilson in the form of a five-telescope array with maximum baseline of 350 meters to yield limiting resolutions of 0.2 milliarcsecond in the visible and 1.0 milliarcsecond at K-band IR. The individual telescopes have apertures of 1.0 m. The instrument will be used for Michelson interferometry and closure-phase imaging, and is expected to have a limiting sensitivity that will make the brightest AGN's just accessible. Its primary scientific program will be the fundamental astrophysics of stars (masses, radii, effective temperatures, surface features, luminosities, distances, etc.) The November SKY AND TELESCOPE will have a blurb about the project, along with a computer generated picture of what it will look like on Mt. Wilson, accompanying a longer article on my binary star speckle work. from Hal McAlister, Georgia State University
Astronomers talk not only of Population I and II stars but also of Population III, which appeared earlier on in the Universe's evolution and which have since disappeared. New observations with the Keck Telescope reported by Len Cowie and Antoinette Songaila of the University of Hawaii show that one atom in a million in the intergalactic medium is highly ionized carbon. This is a higher concentration than had been expected in these clouds, which had been thought to have been pristine hydrogen and helium left over from the Big Bang.
Since the carbon could have been created only inside stars, the evidence indicates to Cowie and Songaila that there was "an early generation of stars that formed prior to the period of galaxy formation. Our observations could be the first evidence for this population."
The observations were made between redshifts 2.5 and 3.0, which puts the gas about 10 billion light-years away. They studied the light from background quasars, and reported that only the new large telescope and its efficient spectrograph made these observations possible.
Reference: Astronomical Journal for April 1995
I thank Prof. Wulff Heintz of Swarthmore College for these corrections.