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February 23, 2019

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Installation of the first segment of the Gran Telescopio CANARIAS (GTC) primary mirror

12/12/2006

On the way of its First Light, the collecting surface of the GTC, formed by 36 segments, begins to be a primary mirror.

Made up of 36 hexagonal ceramic mirrors - each 8 cm thick, 470 kg in weight and measuring 1.9 m from vertex to vertex, the primary mirror will always function as a single, quasi-hexagonal surface. Measuring 11.3 m across (the same size as a 10.4 m diameter circular mirror), there will be a gap of less than 3 mm between each of the primary mirror’s segments.

The first pieces of this jigsaw were installed last week.

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Natalia R. Zelman

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