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Giant Magellan Telescope

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#1 Alan S

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 11:03 AM

Not sure what forum to post this in, but it is equipment...just not a piece any of us will be observing with!

The 3rd off-axis mirror for the GMT is being cast as I type this. I have posted some pictures of the mirror as the glass melts on my blog The Lost Pleiad Observatory and I'll try to keep updating the pics later today as the process unfolds.

#2 HowardK

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 12:29 PM

Woh

They have cameras in the oven!

#3 Alan S

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 12:48 PM

Yes!

In the days before they were able to so effectively monitor the process through "remote" cameras and sensors, they paid graduate students to ride on top of the oven (think merry-go-round) and monitor the systems.

It is truly remarkable.

#4 careysub

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 03:49 PM

Consider that each one of these 7 mirrors is larger than the Hale Telescope or the Bolshoi Telescope, and would have made it the largest telescope in the world 20 years ago, and matches the largest unitary mirror ever made thus far (the two in the Large Binocular Telescope).

Now we all want a cellular spin-cast mirror! (I will settle for a 40-incher though.)

#5 Alan S

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 04:53 PM

Yes, and they also match the 8.4 meter LSST mirror which is currently being polished at the mirror lab. The LSST mirror is F/1.2 (you read that right) and has 2 surfaces, with differing curvatures. A primary and a tertiary surface on the same piece of glass.

Anyone visiting Tucsn owes it to themselves to take the mirror lab tour.

Alan

#6 David Pavlich

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 09:23 PM

The big telescopes fascinate me! The engineering involved to actually make them function is amazing. Thanks for posting.

David

#7 jmandell

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 09:51 PM

Yes, and they also match the 8.4 meter LSST mirror which is currently being polished at the mirror lab. The LSST mirror is F/1.2 (you read that right) and has 2 surfaces, with differing curvatures. A primary and a tertiary surface on the same piece of glass.

Anyone visiting Tucsn owes it to themselves to take the mirror lab tour.

Alan


Here's a photo I took while I was at the mirror lab during the U of A's teen astronomy camp back in June:

(I hope you don't mind me posting it here)

Attached Files



#8 Alan S

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 12:51 AM

Great shot of the LSST mirror! You can see that both surfaces are being simultaneously polished...and if I recall correctly, that was technology that had to be developed specifically for this mirror.

Its great that the teen camp went through there...today's teens are tomorrows astronomers and will be using these telescopes once they are on-line.

Clear skies

#9 careysub

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 08:42 AM

...
Anyone visiting Tucson owes it to themselves to take the mirror lab tour.

Alan


Thanks for that suggestion!

I will have to add that to my "bouquet list" (sounds better than "bucket list").

#10 careysub

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 09:26 AM

I was 9 years old when I read an account of the casting of the Hale Telescope mirror, and remembered the details vividly ever since.

I have since toured the Palomar Observatory, and seen the molding block from the first failed casting on display at Griffith Observatory. Don't know if I will ever get around to seeing the Corning exhibit in New York.

#11 jmandell

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 06:43 PM

Great shot of the LSST mirror! You can see that both surfaces are being simultaneously polished...and if I recall correctly, that was technology that had to be developed specifically for this mirror.

Its great that the teen camp went through there...today's teens are tomorrows astronomers and will be using these telescopes once they are on-line.

Clear skies


It was a truly amazing place to see! All the new projects that are going on are very exciting, and I look forward to seeing the data they produce (especially the GMT :jump:)

We also got to see one of the Mirror lab's greatest successes (the Large Binocular Telescope):

Attached Files



#12 davidpitre

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 08:38 AM

Alan. That is amazing. Please do keep posting about the progress.






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