PHOTOS: World's Largest Telescope Unveiled

PHOTOS: World's Largest Telescope Unveiled
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A camera fitted with a fish-eye lens peers into the steel frame holding the GTC's shiny main mirror.

The mirror is made of 36 smaller hexagonal mirrors that fit together like a honeybee's comb. That's because a single mirror 34 feet (10.4 meters) wide would be so heavy that its surface would deform, skewing the light from distant objects and making the data virtually useless.

Instead, the smaller mirrors can be carefully calibrated so that they act as one seamless light collector.

—Photograph by Pablo Bonet
 
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