The 2.4-meter diameter mirror for the Automated Planet Finder (APF) telescope
is being re-aluminized. This is a time and labor intensive process to remove
the mirror from the telescope, strip off the old coating using an acid
solution, clean the glass, and deposit a new fresh coating of aluminum
on the glass. The process this year will start on Wednesday September 20th
and continue through the next week to 10 days.
About 12 Staff members total, from both Mount Hamilton and our technical shops at University of California, Santa Cruz perform the complicated procedure.
For the first time ever, we will provide a web camera feed showing the procedure in near real time (camera updates a few times per minute, but display on-line is delayed one hour), to let the public see how involved a procedure it is.