Friday, August 27, 2010

SALT's looking like a telescope again!

We opened up the shutter just before sunset & enjoyed the photography-friendly light while the tracker cast shadow-monsters on the inside of the dome...

Yesterday Jonathan put in four more (very clean!) mirror segments near the bottom of the array.

Eben & Martin installed various dial-gauges (visible just to the left of centre in the image below) to measure the amount of movement between the steel and aluminium collars that attach the SAC to the payload.  Happily, these readings were only of the order of a couple of microns.

The major intervention today was to move the auto-collimator, previously mounted on the NRS, to a new attachment point on the bottom of the steel collar that's bolted to the SAC itself.  The small silver tube can be seen just above the SAC in the pic below.

This ought to improve the stability of the auto-collimator & since the sky looks good, we hope for healthier images later tonight!