The MCAO mirror blanks were ordered in 2019 from Schott Glass in Germany.  The mirror is made of Zerodur, a low thermal expansion ceramic.  The mirrors had an interesting journey.  Schott Glass, in Mainz Germany, was ready to ship the blanks just as the pandemic took hold.  The blanks were considered "non essential" and had to wait a few months for shipment.  Once on their journey, they travelled from Mainz to Frankfurt Germany on June 15, 2020 From Frankfurt, they went to Paris, then to Chicago, and to Denver,  finally arriving arriving in DFM's Optical Lab.  The mirror grinding and polishing is a long process, expected to take 18-20 months. The images above show the 1.3m blank in its crate.  The secondary blank was shipped in a smaller crate (not shown).  

The aspherical grinding of the primary mirror was completed at the end of August  2020.  The primary mirror will be a f/2.2 concave hyperboloid. The secondary mirror will amplify the primary beam to f/4.   It is interesting to note that the 24 inch telescope primary mirror would fit in the new primary mirror.s central hole

Mt. Cuba Observatory

1610 Hillside Mill Rd

Wilmington, DE 19807

Office Hours: Mon - Fri 9 am - 1 pm

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