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Gemini South Telescope has been coated with pure silver.


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Gemini South Telescope.
Gemini South Telescope has been coated with pure silver.

Flood Plains on Mars.

These images of fluvial surface features at Mangala Valles on Mars were obtained by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board the ESA Mars Express spacecraft.

The HRSC has imaged structures several times which are related to fluvial events in the past on Mars.

Gemini South telescope Goes Silver.

The 8-metre Gemini South telescope has been coated with pure silver to give it more resolution when viewing objects in the Infrared spectrum. A total of only 50 grams (2 ounces) of the precious metal were required to coat the entire glass mirror, which had previously been covered with aluminum. It didn't require much silver, but it was extremely difficult to apply. Workers used devices called magnetrons which surround a pure metal bar with a cloud of gas which knocks atoms of silver and allows them to deposit on the mirror at a perfect thickness of 0.1 microns (1/200th the thickness of a human hair).

Europeans Agree to Build Instrument for Webb Telescope.

The European Space Agency has decided on how it will contribute to the construction of the next generation James Webb Space telescope (JWST), due for launch in 2011. The Europeans will work with the USA on the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI), which is one of four instruments on board JWST. MIRI will be used to study old and distant stellar populations, dust obscured regions of star formation, and comets and Kuiper belt objects. JWST will be three times larger than Hubble and be able to resolve objects 10 to 100,000 times better depending on the wavelength and type of observation.

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