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Friday, November 13th, 2009
 Since the nasty weather in our part of the country is currently preventing any imaging, I am left with pen and paper.   I did this quick sketch to coincide with our astronomy club meeting tonight......where we watched a DVD of the PBS special "The Road to Palomar".   It is based on the book, The Perfect Machine......about the life and accomplishments of George Ellery Hale, which culminated in the "Big Eye", the 200" Hale telescope on Mt Palomar, near San Diego.   Finally dedicated in 1948 (20 years after work began), it was for many years, the largest telescope in the world.   First light didn't come until 1949.  George Hale died in 1938, never seeing his masterpiece completed.
 
The Keck telescopes in Hawaii, have mirrors twice the size of the Hale, still, the 200" remains awe inspiring today.....by it's shear size.   (notice the people in the dedication photo) 
 
If you haven't read, "The Perfect Machine" by Ronald Florence, I highly recommend it.  Another excellent book is "First Light", by Richard Preston. 
 
My sketch of the Big Eye.
 
  


Image Gallery For This Session
Hale 200 inch2 dedication
   

Hale_200_inch2.jpg
Click picture above for larger version
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Comments:
On 11/14/09 at 09:27pm Barry wrote:
I saw that one too. The Russian telescope never lived up to expectations.

On 11/14/09 at 09:25pm Barry wrote:
I used a different picture for my drawing, Neil.....no peeps were in it..... wanted the telescope to standout without a lot of distracting detail in the background.

On 11/14/09 at 07:54pm Jeff W. wrote:
Odd coincidence, im watching a program now on Nat Geographic channel about the building of the large binocular telescope. Lots of references to the Hale telescope and the russian Bolsoi telescope. Neat show.

Jeff W.

On 11/14/09 at 07:08pm Neil Heacock wrote:
Barry, this is a very good representation. I think your drawing skills (or "drawling" skills according to my 8 year old) are really quite good. I like the fact that you left things out like the people in the chairs and the background details. Your picture looks really cool.

-Neil

On 11/14/09 at 04:03pm Barry wrote:
Thanks Jeff. You probably saw "The Road to Palomar" on PBS. If you have a chance, read one of the books (above). The full story is pretty amazing. Corning had all sorts of problems producing the mirror, but that was after GE spent years and huge amounts of money trying to make one out of fused quartz.

One of my goals is to go see the thing in person.

As good as it was in it's day, digital imaging has increased it's light gathering ability by 100x over film imaging. It is also one of the last large telescopes to have an equitorial mount. High speed computer control have enabled large modern telescopes to have smaller, lighter, alt-az mounts.

On 11/14/09 at 02:37pm Jeff W. wrote:
Neat drawing, I saw a nova or some pbs special on mt Palomar a while back. Neat to see what Corning did to make the mirror and then how they had to transport it all the way across the country.

Good luck on better weather soon.

Jeff W.



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