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Published on Feb 27, 2014
A video showing the production of Sloan Digital Sky Survey plug plates in the Physics Instrument Shop at The University of Washington. Plates are drilled, cleaned, and measured before being shipped to Apache Point Observatory. Once installed on the SDSS 2.5m telescope, optical fibers carry light from each hole to a spectrograph. This allows for simultaneous spectroscopic observations of hundreds to thousands of objects in a single exposure. Each plate represents a patch of sky three degrees across (about 6 times the diameter of the full Moon), and each hole aligns with an astronomical object in that seven degree squared field.
Videography and Editing by Gaelen Sayres and Mary Kawamura.