Behind the Webb Podcast

  • March 9, 2011

    Episode 10: Wax On, Wax Off

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    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.