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Anniversary of the First Light of the Mount Wilson 100-inch Telescope in 1917

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100 inch (2.5 m) Hooker telescope
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After considerable trouble over the blank (and potential replacements), the 100 inch (2.5 m) telescope was completed and saw "first light" on November 2, 1917. On July 1, 1917, the mirror made the long awaited trip to Mount Wilson. The top of its container rose 14 feet above the dirt road while on the truck. Nearly 200 men accompanied the truck as it made the 8-hour trip at an average speed of about one mile per hour. Many of them held ropes attached to the truck as it negotiated the many switchbacks. Others were there to protect the precious cargo from another potential danger: a caller the day before had threatened to blow up the mirror while it was en route to the mountain.
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Mount Wilson Observatory Webcam
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towercam.jpg

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Mount Wilson Observatory's 105th Birthday

Founded on the 20th December 1904 by George Ellery Hale, Mount Wilson Observatory would quickly rise to dominate astronomy worldwide. It was successively home to the world's two largest telescopes as well as the most powerful facilities in existence for studying the sun.
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Station Fire
Smoke and flames from the Station Fire are visible from the Spitzer Science Centre (SSC), located on the campus of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California.

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The UCLA-operated Web camera based at the Mt. Wilson Observatory has ceased functioning due to a server problem.
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Chief Powers expressed his absolute confidence that they will save the Observatory. He said that while it may have appeared over the last day or so that the Observatory was being neglected, that they never lost sight of the importance of Mount Wilson's preservation and it is now their highest priority. He flew up to the mountain yesterday, was delighted with what he found and knew they could achieve success here. There are now 150 fire fighters on Mount Wilson.
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UCLA astronomers wait anxiously to learn fate of research project
UCLA astronomers are anxiously waiting today (Sept. 1) to see whether the massive wildfire that has scorched more than 100,000 acres so far will end their long-term project to supply NASA with data on magnetic fields at the surface of the sun.

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