Astronomical Engines, Big Complicated Machines, Geeky Astronomy

Supporting the 200 Inch Mirror in the Hale Telescope

Mirror cell for the 200 inch mirror at the Babcock & Wilcox factory

Good morning, everyone.

Today I’m going talk about the Hale telescope again, but not about the parts of the telescope that I was originally going to talk about, because while researching the part I was going to talk about, I found this really interesting other part of the telescope to talk about, so I’m going to talk about that instead of what I was going to talk about. I just want to be clear about that.

The last time we talked about the Hale telescope, we talked about how the mirror was cast, ground, and polished. The next step for the mirror would be its journey to Mt. Palomar, and its installation into the telescope structure. What we’re going to look at this time is the supporting structure for the 200 inch mirror, a collection of mechanisms that are more important and more complex than you might imagine.

Continue reading Supporting the 200 Inch Mirror in the Hale Telescope

Astronomical Engines, Big Complicated Machines

Making the 200 Inch Mirror for the Hale Telescope

Inspecting the 200 inch mirror blank

Greetings, everyone.

Today I’m going to talk about the making of the 200 inch mirror for the Hale telescope. I was originally going to talk about the telescope as a whole, but that would require an article that’s far too long for the bulk of our readers to deal with. There is a lot of history associated with the Hale telescope, in its creation and construction, and in the myriad discoveries that have been made using it. On top of that, I’ve been fascinated by the instrument for decades, and I know enough about the thing to bore a zombie into a stupor.  What I’ve decided  to do, is to write two or three articles about the telescope, with lots of references so that those of you who want to know more about the Hale telescope can do so, while the casual reader won’t be driven off by the extent of my voluminous verbosity. That’s the plan, anyway. Continue reading Making the 200 Inch Mirror for the Hale Telescope

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