Europe’s Largest Telescope Celebrates Starlight Premiere - Primary Mirror Made Of “Zerodur” Glass Ceramic Has A Diameter Of 10.4 Meters

On July 13, the Gran Telescopio de Canarias (GTC) on the Canary Island of La Palma will officially be put into operation.

Europe’s largest telescope was built on top of the 2,426 meter high mountain, Roque de los Muchachos. The heart piece, the primary mirror, has a diameter of 10.4 meters and consists of “Zerodur” glass ceramic from SCHOTT.

“The challenging demands with respect to the quality and dimensional accuracy of the material required the most advanced process technology,” explains Dr. Volker Wittmer, the project head at SCHOTT. The researchers particularly appreciate the fact that the coefficient of thermal expansion of the “Zerodur” glass ceramic developed by SCHOTT is practically zero. This means no changes are observed in the dimensions, even when temperatures shift considerably. Because the astronomers also demanded high-precision manufacturing, SCHOTT used a mobile 3D laser measurement system for this project for the first time ever.

The primary mirror consists of 36 hexagonal sections that are tilted slightly towards the inside. Each one of these has a diagonal width of 1.9 meters, is 8.5 centimeters thick and weighs nearly 500 kilograms. Together, they cover a surface of over 75 square meters. A clever adjustment, drive and sensor system ensures that the individual segments can be interconnected to function as a perfect telescope reflector. SCHOTT also provided the Spanish researchers with an additional six segments for reserve use during routine maintenance procedures.

In the future, astronomers will be relying on the observatory that cost approx. 100 million euros to explore outer space, both inside the visible and near infrared spectral regions. Researchers hope to be able to discover distant planets and galaxies and investigate into how our universe was formed.

600450 Europe’s Largest Telescope Celebrates Starlight Premiere - Primary Mirror Made Of “Zerodur” Glass Ceramic Has A Diameter Of 10.4 Meters

See more news about:

Others also read

SCHOTT is introducing a new, innovative portfolio of structured glass substrates that offers highly accurate and versatile features: FLEXINITY™.
Thin glass is revolutionising the performance spectrum of glass and glass panes.
The latest laminated, anti-glare cover glass from SCHOTT – CONTURAN® IR Protect – deflects more than 80 percent of infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
A quarter of a century ago, the German technology group SCHOTT followed a customer to San Luis Potosí, and a Latin American success story began
Ultra-thin smartphone protective glass from SCHOTT now available in retail.
SCHOTT technology group opens its “Opportunity Lab” to the public for fresh ideas.

Add new comment