Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Mount Wilson Observatory

The Mount Wilson Observatory is an astronomical observatory. It is located on Mount Wilson a peak in the San Gabriel mountains near Pasadena, to the east of Los Angeles, California. It was first directed by George Ellery Hale, who brought a telescope from the Yerkes Observatory. The Mount Wilson Solar Observatory was first funded by the Carnegie Institution of Washington, in 1904.

Its equipment includes 100 inches (2.5 m) and 60 inches (1.50 m) reflecting telescopes. The 60-inch telescope was completed in 1908.

Table of contents
1 100-inch telescope at Mount Wilson
2 Eclipsed by Mount Palomar
3 Today on Mount Wilson
4 External Link

100-inch telescope at Mount Wilson

John D. Hooker funded the optical blank for the 100-inch telescope, which was completed in 1917. The Hooker telescope was the instrument which Edwin Hubble used to monitor the Cepheid variable stars, which were his main evidence for the redshift.

From 1917 to 1948, the Hooker telescope was the largest in the world.

Eclipsed by Mount Palomar

The 200-inch telescope of the Caltech-Carnegie consortium was not constructed on Mount Wilson, but on Mount Palomar, 90 miles south, in San Diego County, using a Pyrex blank manufactured by Corning Glass works. This telescope saw 'first light' in 1949.

Today on Mount Wilson

Today, the activities at Mount Wilson observatory are maintained by a consortium of
UCLA and USC, and include a 150-foot Solar tower telescope.

Inactive from 1986 to 1994, the 100-inch telescope saw 'second light' in 1992, and is now equipped with an adaptive optics system for higher performance.

External Link

The 100-inch Hooker Telescope: [1]