PHOTOS: Cosmic Hotshots from Keck Observatory
"Design of the fully articulated main science steering mirror system in the telescope, as well as development of the lasers, laser guide star systems and other high-tech components, is proceeding in China," said Yan Jun, Director General of the National Astronomical Observatories of China, in a TNT press release.
"Japan has seen to the production of over 60 mirror blanks made out of special zero-expansion glass that does not alter its shape with temperature changes," said Masanori Iye, TMT International Observatory Board Vice Chair and TMT Japan Representative for the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. "The blanks will be highly polished for use in the telescope's 30-meter diameter primary mirror. The final design of the telescope structure itself is nearing completion."
PHOTOS: Hubble's Latest Mind Blowing Cosmic Pictures
The TMT's 492-segment mirror will observe the Cosmos in wavelengths from near-infrared, through optical to ultraviolet, allowing us an unprecedented view of objects in our galaxy and the first stars that were forming after the Big Bang. Like Keck, the TMT will use adaptive optics (AO) to compensate for atmospheric turbulence.