Friday, October 28, 2016

The Spaceship Has Landed!

I have a bunch of photographs from the trip to Flagstaff, so you will be seeing photos from there for a while.  One of the telescopes we visited was the Discovery Channel Telescope, located about 40 miles southeast of Flagstaff.  It is one of the newer telescopes in existence, having seen "first light" in 2012.  Telescopes have glass mirrors, in this case a disk that is 4.3 meters in diameter, and in order to become a mirror it needs to be coated with a microscopically thin layer of aluminum.  In order to do this, the mirror has to be put in a vacuum chamber, the air is removed, and an electric charge vaporizes some aluminum wires, and the mirror is coated.  Anyhow, this is the underside of the vacuum chamber, and it seemed to look like a spaceship.

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