To celebrate Universities Week and some of the ground-breaking research work undertaken at Welsh universities, Higher Education Wales is to feature a case study from each of our universities over the coming week to highlight the impact they’re having through creating Ideas for Life.
The following case study is from Glyndŵr University.
Ready to shine: telescope mirror breakthrough
Glyndŵr University has recently met the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) specifications for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) project, representing a significant achievement for the UK’s optical manufacturing industry. This giant £900m telescope will be 39 metres in diameter, made of 798 segments and located on Mount Cerro Armazones in Chile, where it will gather 15 times more light than today’s largest telescopes.
By meeting specifications that many deemed impossible, two ground-breaking objectives have been achieved: a world first in the ability to polish to a ‘straight’ edge on a hexagonal optic, and the acceptance by ESO of the only compliant Optical Test Tower.