Wednesday, November 12, 2008

200" Aluminizing Update #1

I am unfortunately travelling today and will have to update the blog from afar. Work on removing the 200-inch mirror is underway. It is a very involved process. First the science instrument is removed from the Cassegrain cage. Then (seemingly) miles of wire and fiber optics must be carefully removed as well. The telescope is fitted with earthquake tie downs, computer racks are removed and then, eventually, the cage is lowered.

At last check of the webcam, the cage is still attached. There is still work to go before they are ready to lower it.
Here's an interesting shot from today's activities. I explained how such images are produced in an earlier post. Two short webcam movies, hosted at HPWREN, of some of this morning's activities are available here and here.

Update: They've opened the dome.

That's something you don't often see in the daytime, but it provides plenty of light & and some much needed warmth for the crew. Don't worry - I expect they will close the dome before the mirror comes out.

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