Maintaining the Mirrors
The large telescope in the Observatory Dome is being repaired.
Every few years, the telescope's mirrors should be cleaned and re-coated, so that they will continue to accurately and effectively reflect the light from the heavens.
Here, Dr. Loris Magnani is removing one of the 80 bolts that hold the telescope together, so that he, Dr. J. Scott Shaw, Dr. Robin Shelton, Tom Barnello, Lauren Sgro, and Ashton Rutkowski can remove the primary mirror.
The mirror, weighing about 140 lbs, was then winched down the stairwell and into a shipping crate for its trip to the mirror re-coating company. Both the primary and secondary mirrors are being cleaned and recoated in this long-overdue maintenance effort. They should be back from the mirror re-coating company in a few weeks. After their return, and re-installation, the Observatory will return to operations and the autumn public observing schedule will be announced.
Many thanks to emeritus professor, Dr. J. Scott Shaw for organizing the maintenance, to everyone who helped with it, and to the Department of Physics and Astronomy for paying for the shipping and re-coating.