Hubert Martin: Making mirrors for giant telescopes

A plenary talk from SPIE Optics + Photonics 2019
15 August 2019

Advances in our understanding of the Universe depend on improvements in sensitivity and angular resolution that can come only with larger telescopes. Telescope diameters increased by almost an order of magnitude in the last century, but that growth has been sporadic, limited mainly by the ability to make bigger mirrors that hold their shape against the dynamic effects of gravity, wind and temperature. Three major advances in mirror technology occurred in the 1980s, including the lightweight honeycomb mirrors made at the Mirror Lab.

In this plenary talk, Hubert Martin describes these technologies, and shows how they enabled the current generation of 8- to 12-m telescopes and how they are now being used to build telescopes of 25 to 39 m.

Hubert (Buddy) Martin is Project Scientist for Mirror Polishing at the University of Arizona's Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab, and recipient of the  2019 SPIE A.E. Conrady Award in Optical Engineering. He leads the fabrication and testing of large optics, including the 8.4 meter segments of the Giant Magellan Telescope. Buddy's background as a radio astronomer before joining the Mirror Lab in 1986 helps him maintain a passion for contributing to new telescopes and new discoveries.

Enjoy this article?
Get similar news in your inbox

Get more stories from SPIE
Recent News