Photos: Casting Mirror No. 5 for the Giant Magellan Telescope

Giant Telescope Mirror-Making

Giant Magellan Telescope - GMTO Corporation

Staff members at the University of Arizona's Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab recently began making the fifth mirror for the Giant Magellan Telescope, a huge telescope under construction in Chile's Atacama Desert to peer deep into the universe. Read our full story here.

When complete, the telescope will use seven giant mirrors and one spare to create the equivalent of an 80-foot (25 m) focusing surface. See photos of the mirror #5 casting here.

Completed Furnace for GMT Mirror 5

Giant Magellan Telescope – GMTO Corporation

The completed furnace for the Giant Magellan Telescope’s (GMT) fifth primary mirror, at the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab at the University of Arizona. Individual ceramic cores are placed to create a mold into which the glass will flow.

Completed Mirror Mold

Giant Magellan Telescope – GMTO Corporation

The completed mold for GMT mirror number 5’s casting. Each unique core has an identifying number.

Glass on the Conveyor

Giant Magellan Telescope – GMTO Corporation

The Mirror Lab casting crew puts boxes of Ohara low-expansion E6 glass on the conveyor to the GMT mirror 5 furnace.

Glass on the Conveyor: Side View

Giant Magellan Telescope – GMTO Corporation

Side view of glass on the conveyor.

First Pieces of Glass Laid for GMT Mirror 5

Giant Magellan Telescope – GMTO Corporation

Mirror Lab staff lay the first pieces of glass on the mold for GMT mirror 5.

First Glass Layer for GMT Mirror 5

Giant Magellan Telescope – GMTO Corporation

Mirror Lab staff put down the first layer of glass for GMT mirror 5.

Laying Glass: Close Up

Giant Magellan Telescope – GMTO Corporation

Blocks of Ohara low-expansion E6 glass are carefully placed onto GMT mirror 5’s mold.

Laying Glass: Side View

Giant Magellan Telescope – GMTO Corporation

Another view of staff placing glass chunks into GMT mirror 5’s mold.

Honeycomb

Giant Magellan Telescope – GMTO Corporation

The honeycomb pattern of GMT mirror 5’s mold is clearly visible in this shot.

A Closer Look

Giant Magellan Telescope – GMTO Corporation

A look across the top of the glass chunks in mirror 5’s mold.

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