Sep 11

Telescope developments and Sedona

Category: Arizona,Lowell

Recently my Dad and his family visited, so I took them out to see the Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT)  site.  Below you can see a couple of views of the telescope and the mirror coating chamber.  The chamber will be used to put an aluminum coating on the mirror; the coating will be only a few molecules thick.  When in the telescope, it will be open to the elements (when it’s being used) and not protected from dust by anything other than occasional blasts of cleaning gases. So every so often, it will have to have the aluminum coating replaced.  The mirror will be removed from the telescope, transported on rails into the auxiliary building, washed with acids and put into the chamber, where under a vacuum we’ll vaporize some aluminum filaments, coating the glass with the metal.  The layer of aluminum will be 400 atoms thick.

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After visiting the telescope we went to Sedona and watched the sun set.  A nearby forest fire created a dramatic sunset.

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