New Telescope Can Be Packed and Unfolded In Space


By: Elijah Lewis, Journalist

The new space telescope can now be packed and unfolded in space. This telescope’s name is called Primary Mirror. The Primary Mirror is a reflecting telescope–a shaped disk of polished reflective metal that is equivalent to 8 tons. This weight was reduced to 1 ton during its second created version.

In order for Primary Mirrors to survive in space they have to sustain their own weight and not deform under gravity, which limits the maximum size for a single piece.  We also use something called segmented mirrors configurations are used to get around the size limitation on single primary mirrors. For example, The Giant Magellan Telescope would be an example of a primary mirror. You may ask what the purpose of these telescopes is. These telescopes are used to reflect light. They do this when the light travels down the length of the telescope, it hits the concave, or bowl-shaped, primary mirror. The light reflects off of the primary mirror and travels back toward the front of the telescope. There it hits the secondary mirror, which is convex, or dome-shaped. Now we move on to what the secondary mirror does, secondary mirror concentrates the light into a beam the size of a plate that travels back toward and then through a hole in the primary mirror. The light is then directed into a lab for analysis.

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