High Fire Casting of the Sixth Primary Mirror for the Giant Magellan Telescope has begun!

March 4, 2021
Lowering the lid on casting furnace to start melting glass of the 6th mirror for GMTO

Dean Ketelsen

We are virtually celebrating the creation of the sixth segment of the Giant Magellan Telescope’s primary mirror array during the High Fire phase. This casting of an 8.4-meter telescope mirror is a major milestone moment in the engineering process.  This one-of-a-kind instrument will allow astronomers to solve some of the mysteries of the Universe.

Missing file.

When completed the Giant Magellan Telescope will be the largest and most powerful telescope in the world.  The casting process uses an oven 40 feet in diameter to heat up 20 tons of glass to 2129° F. This unique fabrication process results in a lightweight honeycomb glass structure.

Here at the University of Arizona we are celebrating the achievement of this milestone.  The Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab is the only place in the world where mirrors of this size are produced.

The process is fascinating and you will have access to learn more and ask questions on Saturday, March 6, 2021 from 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. MST at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbcU9tAhQtw.

This virtual event is being hosted by the Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, where we engage people of all ages in the process of scientific exploration as we foster a deeper understanding of our Earth within the Universe.