October 19, 2006
Cleaning of the 200 inch telescope mirror at the HPWREN-connected Palomar Observatory
Telescopes at Palomar get a lot of use. It is a fact of life that their mirrors get dirty. The 200-inch mirror of Caltech's Palomar Observatory is no exception. Cleaning Palomar's big mirror is no easy feat. Pulling it out of the telescope takes an entire day. The quicktime movie shows the Palomar Observatory day crew pulling the 14.5-ton mirror out of the telescope, carefully washing it and recoating it with a new layer of aluminum. A successful coating deposits just a few grams of aluminum across the 200-inch disk making a layer only 3 millionths of an inch thick.
W. Scott Kardel
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