The Giant Magellan Telescope is a marvel of engineering, and Dr. Patrick McCarthy explains the years-long process to make an optic mirror that costs over $20 million.
Via IEEE Spectrum:
To begin, more than 17,000 kilograms of special glass are ordered and inspected for flaws. Next, a crew must build a 15-metric ton ceramic structure to serve as a mold for the glass, which they carefully place one chunk at a time. The glass is slowly melted and continuously spun in a furnace to create a parabolic shape, then cooled by fractions of degrees over the course of three months. And that’s only the beginning.
Once cooled, massive machinery lifts the mirror and tilts it to a vertical position. Engineers purge the ceramic mold from the mirror, wait for it to dry, and then rotate it again. They grind and refine the back of the mirror with exacting precision. Then they reposition the mirror in order to shape and polish the front face to within 20 nanometers of perfection—a process that takes about 18 months. Along the way, it undergoes four optical tests, some of which were engineered specifically for this project.
• Casting a $20 Million Mirror for the World’s Largest Telescope (YouTube / IEEE Spectrum)
Attention, comrades! A newsflash has this moment arrived. Engineers working with the Ground X-Vehicle Technologies program have improved the survivability and mobility of combat vehicles by reinventing the wheel. [via Task and Purpose] The high-tech Reconfigurable Wheel-Track (RWT) upgrades “transition from a round wheel to a triangular track and back again while the vehicle is […]
The good news: it’s all ours. The bad news: there’s nothing to stop us. A new model of civilization, arrived by taking the Drake equation and plugging in models of chemical and genetic transitions on paths to the origin of life, predicts that humanity is the only advanced one in observable space. As Dr. Sanberg […]
The Wildbook project conducts wild animal population censuses by combining photos of animals taken by tourists, scientists, and volunteers and then using their distinctive features (zebra stripes, whale fluke shapes, leopard spots, etc) to identify individuals and produces unprecedented data that uses creepy facial recognition tools for non-creepy purposes.
Facebook is good for more than just keeping tabs on your high school friends. In fact, the platform has become an invaluable tool for marketers and entrepreneurs building their brands online. So, whether you’re looking to launch your own venture or climb the ladder in your current operation, the Facebook Ads & Facebook Marketing Mastery Course […]
While it’s fun to watch Hollywood action heroes hack into cameras to spy on their targets, the thought of an actual cybercriminal using our own security devices against us is chilling for most. That’s what makes the iPM World HD 360 Degree 1080p Wireless IP Camera essential for anyone looking to deter digital and physical intruders […]
Spring came and went, but we’re not here to judge if you didn’t get around to cleaning up your living space. After all, taking the time to vacuum your floors can stretch out into a lengthy task when you’re constantly switching between power outlets and trying to jam your machine into those tight corners. With […]