Liquid-Solar Telescope

Liquid-Solar Telescope


      Surface tension provides a perfectly specular surface without grinding or polishing.  As the rotational speed increases, the focal length decreases.





     This is a concept by Steve Hines in 1966 to create a telescope mirror with a spinning dish of mercury where gravity and centrifugal force form a parabolic surface.  A search done later found prior art for conventional liquid mirrors; however, this relates to solar telescopes which have different requirements.


A conventional liquid-telescope mirror:          A solar liquid-telescope mirror:
     Conventional liquid telescope mirrors  maximize brightness by using mercury (which is toxic) or gallium-indium-tin alloy (which is very expensive) but which are approximately 95% reflective in the visible spectrum.      The solar liquid telescope mirror, shown at reduced scale, uses oil or blackened ethylene glycol, which evaporate slowly and reflect ≈3%.  Additional neutral density filters are used to reduce the brightness to a safe level of ≈0.001%.  



      This is not a product for sale.  HinesLab currently offers consulting in the area of engineering design, photographic equipment design, as well as a variety of licensable technology.  Please contact Steve Hines at:




ph. 818-507-5812