Welcome to the Richard F Caris Mirror Lab, the astonishing, inventive, and out-of-this-world impressive series of mirrors breaking scientific barriers at the University of Arizona. This spot has it’s very own team of scientist and engineers who are making this conglomerate of ‘giant, lightweight mirrors of unprecedented power for a new generation of optical telescopes’. The honeycomb structure of Ohara E6 type borosilicate glass is just as rigid and stable as any other, though this is also larger and lighter than any other. Work began on this project in 1980, by founder and scientific director Dr. Roger Angel. In 1985 this specific project area was built, in large by the help of the U.S Air Force, who funded it at the time.
The Giant Magellan Telescope here is the largest and most advanced earth-based telescope in the world, it’s current measurement at 8.4 meters (of segmented mirrors casted). Only 4 out of the total 8 mirror segments are done at this time, though you can go see those during a public tour Monday through Friday, at either 1pm or 3pm. The tours take 90 minutes total and teach guests how innovative engineering and ‘optical technology meld with manufacturing techniques to produce the largest and most advanced giant telescope mirrors in the world on the University of Arizona campus’. See how these inventions are taking us into deep space and beyond, the cutting edge research allowing our scientist's new discoveries and promises of more to come daily.