The Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab
At the University of Arizona's Richard F. Caris Mirror Laboratory, our scientists, engineers and technicians have developed innovations in constructing large lightweight mirrors with unprecedented surface accuracy.
These mirrors represent a radical departure from the conventional solid-glass mirrors used in the past, producing a new generation of telescopes now exploring the universe in optical and infrared light.
They have a honeycomb structure on the inside; made out of Ohara E-6 low expansion glass which is molded by melting it into a honeycomb interior while spin casting in a custom-designed rotating oven.
Honeycomb mirrors offer the advantages of their solid counterparts - rigidity and stability - but they can be significantly larger, and dramatically lighter.