View Full Version : Gemini Goes Silver

2005-Sep-07, 04:12 PM
SUMMARY: The 8-metre Gemini South telescope has been coated with pure silver to give it more resolution when viewing objects in the infrared spectrum. A total of only 50 grams (2 ounces) of the precious metal were required to coat the entire glass mirror, which had previously been covered with aluminum. It didn't require much silver, but it was extremely difficult to apply. Workers used devices called magnetrons which surround a pure metal bar with a cloud of gas which knocks atoms of silver and allows them to deposit on the mirror at a perfect thickness of 0.1 microns (1/200th the thickness of a human hair).

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