Power Sogo Telescope mirror gets new coating

May 16, 2007

A small coating chamber for a small telescope? Well, certainly for big purpose.

Power Sogo Telescope is relatively hidden from the traffic in the University of Hawaii at Hilo campus which is not too bad location for a sky viewer in town. Nasty part is the weather of this town. Over the years, the Newtonian primary mirror of 10-inch across and its accompanying flat secondary mirror degraded. For the revitalization of this telescope, the University Astrophysics Club students brought in these mirrors to one of the labs at Subaru's Hilo Base facility where there is a vacuum coating chamber of approximately 20-inches. This chamber produces aluminum annealed tungsten filaments for Subaru's mirror coating. For its primary mirror, about 300 filaments are needed.

Mr. Tomio Kurakami, a coating expert in the Telescope Engineering Division, applied new coating to the UHH's two mirrors using three filaments on Thursday, March 29, 2007. The old coating of the primary had a protective layer that required an overnight stay for removal. Kura san verified the result in the morning of March 30. As you can see from the dates, students in the University Astrophysics Club worked hard even during the spring break.

This UHH on-campus telescope was named after a physics professor in 1991 at his retirement. The professor's name was Power Sogo, says Larry Gray, the president of the Club. Sogo in Japanese can mean integrate, or connect, which sounds appropriate for a telescope that can connect diverse constituents in the UHH, and can reach out the community. Way to go!

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