Tuesday, September 17, 2013
The Big One!
So this is the big one! This is the Yerkes 40" refractor, the largest refracting telescope in the world. The observatory was founded in 1897 by George Ellery Hale and financed by Charles T. Yerkes, who was an American financier, born in Philadelphia. The length of the white telescope tube is 62 feet. You can get some idea of the sheer size of this telescope by looking at the small figures on the left hand side of the blue mounting. The entire floor of this telescope moves up and down so that the astronomer can be at the eyepiece whether the telescope is pointed at the zenith, or nearer to the horizon. It is difficult to give a sense of the real size of this instrument, so I am including another photo, and you can see how small people are in the background. It was stunning to be in the presence of this instrument, and we all got to view through it, looking at the Moon, and the globular cluster, Messier 15.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:44 PM