UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
GMT mirror manufacture. An engineer installs ceramic fibre cores within a mold that will be used to create a mirror for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT). The GMT will comprise 7 primary mirrors, each one measuring 8.4 metres in diameter. During manufacture, 18 tonnes of borosilicate glass is loaded onto the mold and the whole structure heated within a rotating furnace. The glass is cooled for three months and then polished. Finally, a thin layer of aluminium is applied to create a reflective surface. The GMT is schedule to be completed in 2016.
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