I know that a telescope system is supposed to be at least 1/4 wave or less (for both primary and secondary ratings combined), but I am not quite sure what the wave rating refers to. Can someone explain what this is measuring.
Answers and Replies
Related Astronomy and Astrophysics News on Phys.org
A "quarter-wave" mirror is a mirror whose figure is an accurate parabola within one quarter wavelength of a specific color of visible light (green, I believe). In other words, the hills and valleys on the mirror's surface are smaller than about 100 nanometers from the ideal parabolic figure.
As chroot said, the measure is usualy in green light, most sensitive to the eye and at a wavelength short enough to be meaningful. A 1/25th wave mirror measured in red light would most likely be a terrible figure for a telescope mirror.
Actually, most wavelength claims are being ignored in favor of an accurate measure of the "Strehl Ratio", which is much more indicative of a mirror's surface accuracy.