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The Urban Astronomer

George Ellery Hale and the world's biggest telescopes

18 Jan 2009, 01:08 UTC
George Ellery Hale and the world's biggest telescopes
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

I never tire of sitting in a domed room experiencing something to do with the universe, and when on the road I try to check out the local planetarium if time permits. While in New York City on business this week, I gave myself a night off and took in a show at the Hayden Planetarium. I was drawn in by a special showing of the PBS documentary The Journey to Palomar with an introduction and discussion by the film's two producers, Todd Mason and Robin Mason.Growing up in Southern California I had a keen awareness of big telescopes in the region, including the 60-inch and 100-inch reflectors at the Mount Wilson Observatory (a little more than 10 miles line of sight from my home near South Pasadena), and of course the biggest telescope in the world at that time, the 200-inch Hale Telescope at the Mount Palomar Observatory. One time I convinced a couple friends to drive out and camp at Mount Palomar. We visited the observatory during the day and saw the big telescope from the visitors gallery - an impressive sight indeed.Watching the documentary movie, I was very moved by the story of George Ellery Hale. It ...

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