University Lowbrow Astronomers

The University Lowbrow Astronomers Photo Album

Replacement of the McMath Telescope Primary Mirror.

In April 2005, both the primary and secondary mirrors of the McMath telescope were removed and transported to Chicago where the mirrors were then recoated. Both mirrors, which had been carefully transported in a special crate by Lowbrows Jim Wadsworth and D. C. Moons, came back with excellent aluminized coatings on their surfaces.

D. C. Moons then organized a mirror insertion work party (on June 12, 2005), and the mirrors were carefully replaced in their cells in the steel telescope tube. The following photos were taken on that day during the work party.

Unfortunately, rain threatened the operation, so the alignment of the optics was postponed for a week. However, Bernard Friberg and Tom Ryan were able to go out to the hill the following Saturday, and they aligned the optics as well as they could be aligned. Mr. Ryan, after carefully examining the system’s images, thinks that the primary and secondary mirrors are not operating at their correct design conjugates, since the images got better and better as the final focal plane was moved farther away from the primary. (The 24” originally had auxiliary optics attached to the back of the scope, and the original focal plane position is not known.) However, he agreed to look into this further at some future date, and in the meantime, the scope is fairly well aligned, has new coatings, a working drive, and is ready for use.

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