CORNING, N.Y. , Dec. 1 -- The Lowell Observatory near Flagstaff, Ariz., has selected Corning Inc. to manufacture the mirror blanks for the Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT). Corning will create a blank approximately 4.4 meters in diameter for the DCT’s primary mirror and another blank approximately 1.4 meters in diameter for the telescope’s secondary mirror at its manufacturing facility in Canton, N.Y.
The blanks will be made of Corning’s ULE glass, a material that exhibits virtually no dimensional changes over extreme temperature variations.
The Lowell Observatory will use the telescope for various applications, from studying star formations in other galaxies to surveying manmade objects orbiting the earth. The four-meter telescope will serve both the research goals of the observatory and the interests of Discovery Communications, the parent company of cable television’s Discovery Channel.
The observatory expects the telescope to be fully operational in 2008.
Corning has been crafting large telescope mirrors since the company made the 200-inch mirror for the Hale Telescope at Mount Palomar in 1934. The technology has continued to evolve, and Corning is still one of the few sources in the world for ground-based and space-borne telescope mirrors, ranging in size from less than one meter to more than eight meters in diameter. Corning mirrors are at the heart of Hubble, Gemini and Subaru telescopes. Corning also supplies high-performance windows for space vehicles and the International Space Station.
For more information, visit: www.corning.com