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Episode 10: Wax On, Wax Off

9 Mar 2011, 05:00 UTC
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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.

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