The process of manufacturing lumps of glass into sophisticated mirror systems in the world's largest telescopes.
- Mirrors are made from glass, which is melted and spread over a base.
- Telescopes use mirrors to focus light onto a detector, which allows us to see deep into space.
- The larger a telescope's mirror, the more light it lets in.
- The largest mirror ever made measured 8.4m wide, using 23 metric tonnes of glass.
The mirror is the heart of the telescope.
The BIGGER the mirror the more light it lets in
The curved surface focuses the light
Onto a detector
Letting us see deep into space
Mirrors 8.4m wide have been made
Using 23 metric tonnes of glass
It's spread over the base
The glass is heated until it melts
They spin the structure
Spreading the glass
It cools and hardens
Sealant holds the glass
Just like round your bath
As the glass spins it's polished by pitch
Pitch = Refined tree sap
Before a reflective coating is added
Mirrors are used in telescopes all over the world and above it
So far 8.4metres is the biggest- any BIGGER and they won't fit it on the road