Tuesday: (03/19) We stopped at the Seward Observatory Mirror Lab on the University of Arizona campus. Lou really wanted to take this tour while I wasn't so interested. My interest changed during our orientation. I had no idea of the advances in mirror technology or telescope capabilities in the past few years. Evidently this lab is the world leader in telescope mirror development and production. They have built a binocular telescope, each with a 27 foot mirror, that is 10 times more powerful than the Hubble telescope yet much smaller in design than previous designs. It went online a year ago and there are even more powerful telescopes in production. This is another technology that vastly improves when combined with computers, lasers and space shuttle technologies. I'm truly impressed with their work here.
Our tour guide Alan Brass.
Above left is the dual grinder. On the right is the measurement test rig.
Above left is the furnace being prepared to cast another mirror. On the right above is a portion of the honeycomb mirrors that they make here.