PATRICK DUMAS / LOOK AT SCIENCES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PATRICK DUMAS / LOOK AT SCIENCES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Herschel space telescope construction. Technicians checking the quality of the aluminium coating used on the M1 mirror (upper centre) of the Herschel space telescope. Sample mirrors (centre) were placed in the metal-coating chamber at the same time as the M1 mirror and are used to check the metallic layer for consistency. With its primary mirror measuring 3.5 metres in diameter, the European Space Agency's Herschel telescope is the largest space telescope ever built; larger than the Hubble telescope which has a diameter of 2.4 metres. Photographed at the Calar Alto astronomical observatory, Spain.
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