Hale Constructs the Largest Telescope of the Time (Great Events from History II: Science and Technology Series)
Article abstract: Hale received funding to construct a 508-centimeter reflecting telescope atop Mount Palomar.
Summary of Event
George Ellery Hale was born in Chicago on June 29, 1868. He pursued his education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was graduated in 1890. During that same year, Hale founded the Kenwood Astrophysical Observatory near his Chicago home. Hale conducted research in solar spectroscopy (the analysis of the sun’s light) and developed, in 1891, a device called the spectroheliograph, an instrument that photographs the sun in a narrow wavelength band. (These types of photographs reveal the structure of the sun’s surface.) In 1892, Hale became the first director of the Yerkes Observatory, Williams Bay, Wisconsin, and received funding for a 102-centimeter refracting telescope. He always envisioned working in an astronomy department with state-of-the-art observational equipment. Hale was one of the original founders, in 1895, of a professional publication known as the Astrophysical Journal. Several years later, in 1899, he helped establish the American Astronomical Society.
Not only was Hale an inventor and astronomer but also he had the fortunate ability to be an excellent fund-raiser. He continued to dream of bigger and better astronomical equipment. Hale made presentations before members of the Carnegie Institute of Washington to advise them of the unusual...
(The entire section is 2135 words.)
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