The making of Webb's mirrors is a complex process. It requires painstaking work to fine-tune each surface to capture and direct the maximum amount of light to the telescope's detectors. The mirrors must be ground and polished to a precise, smooth curve that keeps light from bouncing off in unwanted directions. At Tinsley Laboratories in Richmond, Calif., engineers are shaping Webb's mirrors to their exact requirements.
Publication: March 9, 2011