UofA Steward Observatory Mirror Lab visit
Posted: 6 February 2019
On Tuesday, 5 February 2019, the wife and I visited the University of Arizona Steward Observatory Mirror Lab courtesy of a new resident of Oracle and a long time amateur astronomer and astrophotographer. Thanks Jim! Here are some photos from the visit.
The Mirror Lab is located beneath the football stadium. This is the entrance:
After we checked in we were given a briefing about the history of Steward Observatory and the Mirror Lab.
Lavinia Steward lived in Oracle
Some components used to make the mirror blanks were on display:
The mirror blanks that were currently being made are for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), which will have seven 8.4 meter mirrors. Here is a small model of the GMT that was on display:
Here is a completed mirror blank being cleaned and inspected:
The Mirror Lab is a big place!
The glass for the mirrors comes in large blocks (top photo). We got to see the oven (through a window, left photo) where the glass for the mirror is melted. The entire oven is on the right (photo of a photo).
In another area of the Mirror Lab (I said it was a big place), there was a completed mirror blank (top) and another mirror blank being prepared (bottom):
The Steward Observatory Mirror Lab is an impressive thing to see that is doing great stuff to further our investigations of the Universe.
After we left the Mirror Lab we walked past the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium on the University of Arizona campus:
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