Monday, February 18, 2013

The Magellan telescopes

The Magellan telescopes are large custom built telescopes. They were built by the Carnegie Institution of Washington. They are located in Chile. The telescopes were built on the behave of the University of Michigan, the University of Arizona, the University of Harvard, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Many people use these telescopes, including professors, Ph.D. Students, and postdoctoral astronomers. Each University shares the time equal on the telescopes.

The Magellan telescopes are very large. The main mirrors are f/1.25 paraboloids. Each of the mirrors are made of borosilicate glass and they weigh 21,000 pounds each. It took a really long time to build each mirror. It took 6 months to build the mold that the glass mirrors were made in. It then took 2 days to put the glass into the molds. After the glass was placed into the molds, it took 3 months for the glass to cool. Lastly, each of the mirrors had to be polished for several months. It also took a lot of time for the telescopes mount and track to be built. 

The Magellan telescopes staring operating in the early 2000s.

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