#66 Mount Wilson Observatory, 100-inch Hooker Telescope


1918

Unique telescope mirror support and use of mercury flotation to reduce friction


The increased light-grasp of this telescope made possible many notable advances in structural cosmology between 1924 and 1930, which have revised our ideas about the universe. One of these advances was that spiral nebulae are galactic units like our own; another was the idea of an expanding universe. George Ellery Hale began planning this project in 1906; Francis G. Pease was the chief designer and mechanical engineer. The telescope's mirror support and the use of mercury flotation to reduce the friction are among its outstanding mechanical engineering features.

Drawing of Mt. Wilson Observatory's 100-inch telescope, which has been designated an ASME historic mechanical engineering landmark. Credit: J. Lawrence Lee, ASME copyright 1998


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Landmark Location

Mount Wilson Institute 740 Holladay Road Pasadena, CA 91106

Owner, if different than above

Mount Wilson Observatory (Hale)

Plaque location, if specific

Inside observation booth of the Hooker Telescope

Visiting Info

The observatory is open to visitors every day from 10 AM to 4 PM from April 1 through November 30, weather permitting. Special group tours may still be requested. Gale Grant.

Links

Ceremony Notes

June 1981

 

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