Our goal is to produce a telescope mirror with a diameter of 10 meters, or nearly 33 feet," said 2nd Lt. Ethan Holt
Hubble, by contrast, has a 2.5m mirror. The James Webb Space Telescope will have a 6m mirror.
This is interesting stuff, but the article contains no word on how smooth the surface of the mirror was. Also, telescope mirrors need to be curved in order to produce an image, and I am not sure how they will do that.
Exciting stuff to watch for the future.
posted on 08/26/2003 2:53:40 AM PDT
telescope mirrors need to be curved in order to produce an image, and I am not sure how they will do that.
I would imaginea combination of vacum and pressure with the film between. Kinda like air over oil suspensions. Vary the pressure and you can change the focus of the mirror. Tricky, but no t impossible.
posted on 08/26/2003 3:04:19 AM PDT
( Right Wing Nuts hold the country together as the loose screws of the left fall out!)
This is interesting stuff, but the article contains no word on how smooth the surface of the mirror was.
...have produced a 1-meter-diameter (about 3.25-feet), optical-quality membrane mirror.
posted on 08/26/2003 12:19:41 PM PDT
1. The mirror is curved. Check out the image of the grad student and the LT in the mirror. Their heads are larger than the professor near the mirror. Therefore, the image is magnified and the mirror must be curved. Second, pay attention to the doorframe (or whatever it is) behind the LT. There is a slight curvature in it.
2. The article mentions that the surface is smooth to a millionth of an inch. That works out to roughly lambda/4, which is optical quality for most applications (but not good enough for really good astronomical optics).
3. Pardon me for shouting, but WHAT THE )(*&%^_()&&*%_) IS HE DOING WITHOUT GLOVES ON!!!! You don't mess with high quality optics without gloves, masks, smocks, and a clean environment. We treat our sounding rocket optics better than that...
My job involves designing space optics, so I'll be following this news closely. Heck, I'm working on a 1-meter telescope design right now...
posted on 08/26/2003 6:13:15 PM PDT
(He lives! He walks! He conquers!)
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