Sunday, June 7, 2009

progress on the Discovery Channel Telescope at Lowell Observatory

Today we went up to the new telescope -- only 3 weeks on the job and Dan was already leading a tour describing progress. I was absolutely awed standing at the base of this enormous structure imagining the wonders of the universe that will be explored here when its finally finished.
The scaffolding is in place. When he interviewed here last winter we saw in pictures that only the base had been completed.

Dan inside the dome.

Dan giving the tour -- here he's
standing in front of the dome drives.

A mirror-coating chamber. The telescope mirror arrives as a giant glass plate that isn't yet reflective. It has to be put into a special chamber and coated with vaporized aluminum in a vacuum in order to turn it into a true telescope mirror. This is done on-site, here.

Then it will be carefully transported from the green building into the dome and settled in place.

Silhouette of telescope as we wound
back down the dirt road.


Niffer said...

Wow! No wonder Dan is going to have so much fun on this project. This is really cool!

geekhiker said...

Suddenly my job seems really, really boring.

Sornie said...

That is such a cool job, I am rather jealous.

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