This giant telescope has a primary mirror composed of 36 hexagonal mirrors of a total collecting area of 75.7 square metres, or the equivalent of a spherical mirror 10.40 metres in diameter. The collected light is focused on a secondary mirror then sent to a third mirror which directs the beam to various analysis instruments: spectrographs and analysers in the visible and infrared spectra (Osiris, CanariCam, Elmer and Emir).
The optical part has two optimisation systems: active optics (which optimally aligns the 3 mirrors taking into account the temperature, gravity and construction defects), and adaptive optics, a process in which atmospheric mixing is analysed several times per second, slightly deforming each hexagonal mirror in real time to correct the harmful effects of turbulence.
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The Large Canary Island Telescope Credit J-B Feldmann