Emilio Segrè Visual Archives

More than 30,000 photos of scientists and their work

Telescopes F19

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Telescopes F19

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Credit line: 
Perkin-Elmer Corporation, courtesy AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, Physics Today Collection

The 2.4-meter primary mirror for the Space Telescope is lifted from the vacuum chamber, where it was coated with a reflective layer of aluminum and an overcoating layer of magnesium fluoride (to preserve reflectivity in the uv). The mirror quality is expected to lead to a telescope with an rms error of lambda/20 at 6328A; this value is essentially diffraction limited. (Typical ground-based telescopes are usually figured to no better than lambda/10.)

Photo date: 
circa 1981