Monday, January 16, 2012

Casting the 2nd GMT Mirror

Early reports confirm that Saturday's casting at the University of Arizona's Mirror Lab of the second mirror for the Giant Magellan Telescope was successful.

Here is a short video of the rotating oven in action:

 Recall that inside the rotating oven was placed some 21 tons of chunks of borosilicate glass onto a mold. Here is a shot taken by one of the cameras inside the oven from early in the process:

 Compare it with this recent photo:

 The glass has melted into into the honeycombed structure of the mold.  It is not really evident here, but the rapid rotation of the oven has introduced a curve to the liquid glass.

Upon cooling the mirror will eventually be removed and inspected.  If all is will it will be placed in line for polishing.  The first mirror cast for the GMT is still being polished in the lab and here is a timelapsevideo of it being polished that was cast for this project:

This video comes from Dean Ketelsen. Be sure to check out his great blog.

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