My colleague Andy Green has just finished this really nice short film (12 minutes) showing how the re-aluminising of the 4-metre mirror of the Anglo-Australian Telescope. This procedure consists on first carefully cleaning the surface of the mirror and strip off the old reflective coating, then prepare and polish the glass surface, and finally secure the mirror inside the large vacuum chamber metal tank for aluminising. The glass surface is then covered with a really thin layer of aluminium, which only has 100 atoms thick. Of course, the mirror has to be removed from the telescope first, and has to be put back at the end. Staff at the AAT need around 1 week (5 days) to complete the process.
Film “Aluminising the Anglo-Australian Telescope”, that is available in the AAO YouTube Channel. Credit: Andy Green (AAO), Narrated by: Fred Watson (AAO), Additional video by Pete Poulus, Fred Kamphues and Ángel R. López-Sánchez (AAO/MQ).
The footage for this film was shot on location at the Anglo-Australian Telescope using a Canon 5D Mark III and a Canon 6D by Andy Green. The aerial footage of the Anglo-Australian Telescope building was filmed by Peter Poulos of iTelescope. Some additional archive footage of the telescope filmed by Fred Kamphues. The night sky sequences were obtained by me as part of my astronomical timelapses at the Siding Spring Observatory. The music was performed by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. The pieces are “Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46 – IV. In the Hall Of The Mountain King” composed by Edvard Grieg and “In The Steppes of Central Asia” composed by Alexander Borodin. All music is public domain, courtesy of Musopen.
More information: AAO webpages