The Hale Telescope is about 1 ton heavier today than it was yesterday. Extra weight was added to the top end to help it achieve balance when the new PALM-3000 adaptive optics system is installed in about 1 month.
This afternoon it was put through the paces with some extreme pointing to help make sure that it smoothly handles the extra weight. Early indications are that all is well. Here is a photo from today during the pointing exercise:
PALM-3000 will not be on the telescope all the time, so to compensate extra weight was also added to the Cassegrain cage. The weights are then removed when the PALM-3000 is not on the telescope.
PALM-3000 should allow the Hale Telescope to take the sharpest visible-light images of any telescope. Look for more posts on this in the future.