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28 September 2004 The new MMT
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Originally commissioned in 1979, the Multiple Mirror Telescope was a highly innovative and successful facility that pioneered many of the technologies that are used in the new generation of 8 to 10 m class telescopes. After 19 years of operations the MMT was decommissioned in March of 1998: the enclosure was modified, the optics support structure was replaced, and a single 6.5-meter primary mirror was installed and aluminized in-situ. First light for the new MMT was celebrated on May 13, 2000. Operations began with an f/9 optical configuration compatible with existing instruments. Work has continued commissioning two new optical configurations that will serve a suite of new instruments: an f/15 deformable secondary mirror and adaptive optics facility that has obtained diffraction-limited images; and an f/5.4 secondary mirror and refractive corrector that provides a one-degree diameter field of view. The wide-field instrument suite includes two fiber-fed bench spectrographs, a robotic fiber positioner, and a wide-field imaging camera.
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