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LSST Mirror Turn&Tilt

LSST Mirror Turn&Tilt

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The LSST 8.4-meter mirror blank executed a couple of carefully choreographed turns and now rests horizontally in the large optical grinding area of the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. Since October, when the mirror was lifted from the furnace hearth and installed vertically in the red handling ring, 16,000 kg of ceramic core material have been removed from the honeycomb structure. On the morning of January 13th, the 8.4-meter M1/M3 blank was moved forward, rotated vertically, moved back, and then carefully tilted so the back plate is now facing up; the face plate (with bonding pads still attached) lies on the underside of the horizontal glass monolith. In the large optics polishing area of the lab, the back plate and edges of the mirror blank will be ground down and polished in preparation for the next step - installation of load spreaders to the back plate. The mirror blank will then be placed in the polishing cell (with the face-plate up) before the multi-year polishing of the optical surface begins. The mirror is scheduled to be completed in January 2012, and will be the largest two-surface optical mirror ever made from a single substrate.

Image Credit: 

Financial support for Rubin Observatory comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Support Agreement No. 1202910, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515, and private funding raised by the LSST Corporation. The NSF-funded Rubin Observatory Project Office for construction was established as an operating center under management of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA).  The DOE-funded effort to build the Rubin Observatory LSST Camera (LSSTCam) is managed by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC).
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science. NSF supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.
NSF and DOE will continue to support Rubin Observatory in its Operations phase. They will also provide support for scientific research with LSST data.   

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