Light Weight Telescope Mirror Blanks and Lens Blanks | Telescope Mirror and Lens Technology | Corning

We use cookies to ensure the best experience on our website.
View Cookie Policy
Accept Cookie Policy
Change My Settings
Required for the site to function.
Augment your site experience.
Lets Corning work with partners to enable social features and marketing messages.


White drone flies over snowy, mountainous area

Telescope Mirror and Lens Blanks

Telescope Mirror and Lens Blanks

Telescope Mirror and Lens Blanks

Telescope Mirror and Lens Blanks

Corning has a rich history in space exploration, producing mirrors for the Hubble, Gemini, and Subaru telescopes; along with providing window glass for all of NASA's manned spacecraft missions and the International Space Station.  These mirrors are made of Corning's ultra low expansion ULE® glass, a material that exhibits virtually no dimensional changes over extreme temperature variations and is generally considered the best in the world for astronomical optics.

The light-weighting techniques used in the Hubble mirror have been extended to other space program and ground-based astronomy applications. Reducing the weight of these large mirrors - sometimes down to one eighth the weight of an equal sized solid mirror -- allows changes to the superstructure for ground-based telescopes, helping to reduce costs and extending functionality.

Corning continues to develop and expand the use of this technology. Current and future space-based telescopes may contain Corning mirrors that are less than 10 percent of the weight of an equal-sized solid mirror. The technology has been adapted for use in the geostationary (GOES) weather satellites, which are key U.S. resources for weather, hydrologic, and climate forecasts.

Corning HPFS® Fused Silica is a material of choice for large transmissive optics in astronomical applications. HPFS® boules can be formed as large as 1.75m in diameter and with excellent index homogeneity. Nominally all measurements within a boule are < 4ppm Δn. Material is available in smaller blank sizes that meet 3 ppm and as low as < 1.5ppm Δn. This material has been used in recent programs such as the LBT 40” correctors, Keck upgrade prisms, Smithsonian Hectochelle multi-purpose spectrograph, Pan-STARRS optics, and the Dark Energy Survey Camera.


Product Information and Data Sheets