Mount Graham Telescope

Near the summit of Mount Graham, a 3,300-meter mountain in Arizona Stands a strange robotic structure.  Mount Graham Telescope is also known as Mount Graham International Observatory (MGIO).

Construction of MGIO began in 1989. MGIO currently operates and maintains facilities for three scientific organizations. The first two telescopes, the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope and the Heinrich Hertz Sub millimeter Telescope began operations in 1993. The Large Binocular Telescope, one of the world’s largest and most powerful optical telescopes, began operations using mirrors independently in 2004, with joint operations between the two mirrors beginning in 2008.

The telescopes two primary mirrors weigh each 18 tons and each is worth 11 million US$ to create this honeycomb glass they smelted borosilicate glass, rotated until a parabolic disc was formed. The mirror was cooled for few months, this mirror was 80% air which saved 56 tons and up to 2 years of labor.

Facts

  • The 2,000-ton rotating cube can turn at 2 degrees per second.
  • The structure can withstand 225km/h winds and has snow melting heaters built on its roof.
  • The first mirror was delivered in 2003 after three days of accent up the unmelted road.

 

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