Crab nebula shockwave

During the summer of 2007 Olivia Gomez, a student at St David's Catholic 6th Form College, Cardiff, worked on Faulkes data of one of the most enigmatic objects in the sky, the Crab nebula.

Update on 1m development

There will be 21 telescopes spaced around the world, arranged in clusters of three telescopes at each of seven sites in the North and South hemispheres. Weather permitting, this enables continuous coverage of celestial objects of interest - mainly time-variable objects. Each telescope is an f/8 system with a 4K CCD providing a 27 arcmin field of view (almost as big as the full moon), and a comprehensive filter set.

Mirror Blanks

These were ordered at the end of 2007 from Hextek Corp, Tucson, AZ. In June 2008 we were able to see the first blanks at the Hextek workshop. We expect about one set of mirror blanks each month from now on. The mirrors are initially fused flat, with cylindrical glass tubes separating the top and bottom glass plates. Hextek provide mirror blanks which are as stiff as solid blanks of the same size, but much lighter - each primary weighs 160 lbs, each secondary weighs 12 lbs. There are 108 cells in the 1-meter blank which is 7 inch thick. The blanks have also been heated and slumped so the front surface is close to a sphere that best matches the desired curvature of the final mirror.

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