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June 3, 2013 - Glass Giant of Palomar

Glass Giant of Palomar George Ellery Hale was an American solar astronomer whose knack for fundraising resulted in the creation of some of the leading observatories in the world, including Yerkes, Mount Wilson, and Mount Palomar. Sixty-five years ago this week, the enormous 5.1-meter (200-inch) telescope at Mount Palomar was dedicated, posthumously, in his honor. A contemporary account of the dedication ceremony states that “the huge instrument swung north and south, east and west, as smoothly as if it were a veteran of the skies. It seemed incredible that a piece of machinery weighing 500 tons could be controlled so easily by only a 1/12-horsepower motor.” Between 1948 and 1993, the Hale Telescope was the world’s largest, and it continues to be used regularly, a true veteran of the skies.

Image credit: Tom Jarrett

Weekly Calendar

June 3-9, 2013

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 3

Uranus 4° south of Moon

1948: 200-inch Hale telescope dedicated
1965
: Gemini IV launched; Ed White takes America’s first space walk
1966
: Gemini IX launched

Moon phase Tuesday 4

1971: Last X-24A lifting body flight
1974: Construction begins on space shuttle Enterprise
2000: Compton Gamma Ray Observatory reenters atmosphere

Moon phase Wednesday 5

1819: John Couch Adams born
1989: Voyager 2 begins regular observations of Neptune
1991: STS-40 Columbia launched
2002: STS-111 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Thursday 6

1932: Dave Scott born
1971: Soyuz 11 launched, first crew to occupy Salyut 1 space station
1983: Venera 16 launched

Moon phase Friday 7

Neptune appears stationary

1992: Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer launched
2011Soyuz TMA-02M launched carrying ISS Expedition 28/29 crew

Moon phase Saturday 8

New Moon 11:56 AM ET

1625: Giovanni Cassini born
1959: First X-15 unpowered glide test
1975: Venera 9 launched
2007: STS-117 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Sunday 9

Moon at apogee

1812: Johann Gottfried Galle born

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.