“Biggest in the World” - Twice

60-inch telescope 1908 - 1917

• Length - 18 feet

• Weight of telescope - 40 tons

• Weight of 60-inch mirror - 1,950 lbs.

100-inch telescope 1917 - 1948

• Length - 40 feet

• Weight of telescope - 87 tons

• Weight of 100-inch mirror - 9,500 lbs.

“Since the very first telescope made by man peered feebly into the mysteries of the heavens, perhaps no single event in the history of astronomy has held more interest for scientists and laymen alike than the accompanying announcement by Dr. George E. Hale, director of the Mt. Wilson Observatory, that the new 100-inch reflector, by far the greatest and most powerful telescope in the world is an unqualified success."
- Los Angeles Times, 1919

A few years earlier Hale’s own optician had declared the mirror glass unusable. Benefactor John D. Hooker had balked and refused to pay for it and men had been severely injured pouring it. Hale was emotionally exausted. But his telescope was a masterpiece of engineering and lead to a revolution in astronomy.

Mount Wilson Observatory

Mount Wilson Observatory
The difficulties
The Egos
"Scientific Eye of America"

Click here to see spectacular 360˚panoramas of Mount Wilson. Courtesy, Carol Struycken.



Photo of Mount Wilson