He was a master organizer and a “maker of institutions,” as a Pasadena newspaper obituary described him; a fabulous visionary, and a profoundly charismatic and inspirational individual. By 1898, Hale recognized that the Yerkes 40-inch refractor was not well suited for the astrophysical research on stars that he wanted to pursue. In 1923, Hale resigned directorship of Mount Wilson Observatory (the word “Solar” had been dropped when the 100-inch was completed). 1919: Nebulae discoveries (1919 - 1923). Hale appointed Ritchey, a perfectionist by nature, as director of new optical and mechanical labs in Pasadena. 200 inch 508 cm 1713 m (5620 ft) 1948 George Ellery Hale John D. Rockefeller: 2 Shane Telescope Lick Observatory 120 inch 305 cm 1283 m (4209 ft) 1959 Nicholas Mayall C. Donald Shane: 3 Hooker Telescope Mount Wilson Obs. George Ellery Hale (1868-1938) founded the Observatory in 1904 and directed it until his retirement in 1923. Both were stars gazing with their own best portable telescopes when their lives changed forever. The year before, Hale also found a red dwarf star in the Big Dipper that circles the well-known naked-eye sky star Alcor. In the photograph above, taken around 1905, he is working in his office in the Monastery, the dormatory for astronomers on the mountain. He knew exactly what he wanted, and Mount Wilson’s conditions were perfect. To study Zeeman splitting in detail, where a spectral line is split into components in the presence of a magnetic field, Hale needed a larger solar tower, and he pursued funding, again from the Carnegie Institution, for construction of the 150-foot solar tower, which became operational in 1912. Working on Mt. Meanwhile, the 48-inch (1.2 m) Samuel Oschin Schmidt Telescope was completed in 1948, and almost immediately, work began on the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey — the catalog used as a basis for the Hubble Space Telescope. While photographing the NGC 253 … On July 23, 1995, Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp who were both amateur astronomers. Hale wired Ritchey to start grinding. Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! • Scott Kardel, “Palomar Skies” (blog), February 21, 2008. Palomar is home to one of the largest telescopes in the world, the 200-inch Hale Telescope. These tests were so satisfactory that application was made to the Carnegie Institution for a grant to finance an expedition from Yerkes and install the Snow solar telescope then at Yerkes on Mount Wilson. Certainly Hale was going through a very difficult time, which he described as a nervous breakdown. The founders of the California Institute of Technology, Arthur Noyes, Robert Millikan, and George Ellery Hale.This elegant portrait hangs today in the Caltech Athenaeum faculty club main dining room. Here are 10 of them. "Journey" follows Hale from his boyhood home in Chicago to the culmination of his life's work, the million-pound, 200-inch Hale telescope on Palomar. Photographs are courtesy of the University of Chicago Photographic Archive, Special 
Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library; Don Nicholson; Scott Kardel; and the George V. Mccauley Archive, the Rakow Research Library, Corning Museum of Glass. Space is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. In Science and Technology. Hale 200-inch telescope (1948). • Walter S. Adams, “Early Days at Mount Wilson,” Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, October 1947. Over budget and behind schedule, the 100-inch telescope project had another cost: Hale’s health. At age 14, he and his brother installed a lathe in their “shop” and built a small steam engine fed by a boiler capable of generating 1/8 horsepower to operate the lathe. By the time he gets to Europe, the war is winding down. Largely because of Hale’s efforts, modern American astronomy could thrive, grow, and discover in a wholly unprecedented manner. While a young teenager, Hale persuaded his father to buy him a small refractor telescope. Though Hale put the last full measure of his strength toward seeing the 200-inch telescope come to fruition, he died a decade before it was completed in 1948 (and named after him). It is still used in the modern astronomy for research of solar system, extra solar planets, and remote galaxies etc. Hale and Ritchey were appalled to see that the huge disk had sheets of bubbles between the layers, and Ritchey said it would be unlikely that the disk could take a good surface figure. His failing strength prevented him from ever visiting the site or seeing the work in progress, though, as Adams wrote, each clear day, Hale rejoiced “in one more day for work on Palomar.”, About two days before his death, wrote Ronald Florence, Hale felt well enough to be wheeled outside, where he looked up at the sky and said, “It is a beautiful day. Under the direction of the famous American astronomer Edwin Hubble, the Hale Telescope saw first light on January 26, 1949 targeting Hubble’s Variable Nebula. Hale secured funding for the 200-inch in 1928, but the telescope would not be completed until 1948, 10 years after his death. It holds a professional set of telescopes used by the California Institute of Technology, but the observatory is also open to the public almost every day of the year. Hale Telescope Palomar Obs. Hale telescope had been the world’s largest telescope for about 45 years. Wrote Harold Zirin, “Hale had a wonderful feeling for the Sun,” and “great feeling for the beauty of solar phenomena, writing in terms such as ‘magnificent views of inflow to a spot,’ and ‘beautiful vortex patterns.’”. He was interested in astronomy combined with physics: astrophysics. And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com. Biography. The 200-inch (5.1-meter) Hale Telescope. Getting that ready for work would take about two decades, in a time that was marred by the Great Depression and World War II. Location,Location, Location! Hubble's name is most widely recognized for the Hubble Space Telescope, which was named in his honor, with a model prominently displayed in his hometown of Marshfield, Missouri. Kepler and K2. Yerkes Observatory was dedicated in 1897, with Hale as its first director. The twin 10-meter Keck telescope … The Mount Wilson Solar Observatory was organized in 1904, with Ellerman, George Ritchey, and Walter Adams forming the nucleus of the staff, and the Snow, transported in pieces to the mountaintop in 60 trips by mule trains, became operational in 1905. In announcing the gift in an article titled “A 100-inch Mirror for the Solar Observatory” in The Astrophysical Journal, Hale confidently wrote: “No provision has yet been made for the mounting and dome. Independent of each other but at the same time. Hale enjoyed this period tremendously. "Since the objects were too distant to be stars, or even galaxies, Schmidt concluded, they must be something else not previously seen in the history of astronomy," NPS stated. After finding four supernovas of their own and comparing it to two others previously reported by other teams, the group realized that all six stellar explosions belonged to the same class. George Ellery Hale was not satisfied with the record-breaking 100-inch Hooker telescope - he wanted to build a telescope twice as large. While once the 200-inch telescope was in an area that was fairly shielded from the effects of light pollution, decades later the sprawling southern California population growth — and accompanying lights — makes it difficult for some astronomical observations. He persuaded his mother to turn over a room in their house dedicated to his experiments. Ellerman was a multitalented individual who would later be recruited to join Hale in California at Mount Wilson. 200 inch 508 cm 1713 m (5620 ft) 1949 George Ellery Hale: 2 Mayall Telescope Kitt Peak National Obs. The 60-inch saw first light in December 1908, but Hale was already pursuing bigger goals. In October, the … Important Discoveries & Interesting Facts The … History repeated itself starting in 1949, when the 200-inch Hale Telescope took its first photograph of the night sky. You will receive a verification email shortly. The Astronomy Department at the California Institute of Technology is part of the Division of Physics, Math, and Astronomy.The primary mission of our department is twofold: the performance … Galileo Galilei didn't invent the telescope; he probably wasn't even the first … • Harold Zirin, “George Ellery Hale,” Solar Physics, 1968. Among the more notable discoveries of the 200-inch Hale reflector were observing and helping astronomer Maarten Schmidt figure out the nature of quasars. George Ellery Hale was an American solar astronomer, best known for his discovery of magnetic fields in sunspots, and as the leader or key figure in the planning or construction of several world-leading telescopes; namely, the 40-inch refracting telescope at Yerkes Observatory, 60-inch Hale reflecting telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory, 100-inch Hooker reflecting telescope at Mount Wilson, and the 200-inch Hale reflecting telescope … • Robin and Todd Mason, “The Journey to Palomar” (PBS film documentary), 
November 2008, widely available on DVD. Astronomers using the Hale Telescope have discovered distant objects at the edges of the known universe called quasars and have given us the first direct evidence of stars in distant galaxies. Kulkarni is 58. Photo credit: Michael Sidonio. Several notable discoveries have been made using the observatory's telescopes. Thank you for signing up to Space. Rest and travel were usually prescribed, but did not help. The Sun played an essential role in George Ellery Hale’s life, so much so that when he died on February 21, 1938, newspaper accolades referred to him as the “wizard of the Sun,” “the modern Zoroaster,” and the “priest of the Sun.” Indeed, Hale always seemed happiest when in a sunny clime such as Italy or Southern California, and most content when studying our solar system’s star. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, Bringing Astronomy to an Isolated Mountaintop, Public Ticket Nights Individual Reservations. After 1970, the 60-inch telescope was added to take a portion of the observing load off of the Hale Telescope. The Observatory is home to three active research telescopes: the 200-inch (5.1-meter) Hale Telescope, the 48-inch (1.2-meter) Samuel Oschin Telescope, and the 60-inch (1.5-meter) telescope… © The darkness surrounding the Hale … It is not known from what source funds for this purpose will come; but I believe a donor will be found by the time they are needed.” The Saint-Gobain glassworks in France cast a disk 101 inches across and 13 inches thick, the largest plate glass casting ever poured to date, weighing 4-1/2 tons. The article mentioned Carnegie’s special interest in Mount Wilson, and Hale knew this meant that Carnegie had decided to fund the 100‑inch. These objects were not only interesting in their own right, but also opened up a debate about the nature of Pluto. The Hale Telescope's extraordinary discoveries extended beyond the Milky Way’s neighborhood, such as the identification of the radio-loud objects 3C 273 and 3C 48 by Maarten Schmidt and collaborators in … On his return home, news came that two replacement 100-inch disks had broken during annealing, and a third casting was of doubtful quality. In the early 1960s, astronomer … The main role of the hale telescope … The telescope incorporated the ’Serrurier Truss,’ newly invented by Mark U. Serrurier of CalTech in Pasadena in 1935 as a way of controlling flexure in the tube of the telescope that he helped to design. Hale also persuaded the Carnegie Institution to donate funding for the construction of a 60-inch reflector. He estimated he would need another $500,000 to build the telescope. Tests showed that the bubbles might not interfere with the formation of an optical surface. He was the first one to identify the shape of the Milky Way. The 200-inch Hale Telescope is the main attraction, but visitors may also tour our museum and take a guided tour of the facility. The Hale telescope was completed in 1948 and was the largest telescope in the world for a generation, with epoch-making discoveries to its credit too many to list. Our visiting Palomar page has the information on visiting hours and travel to the Observatory. He hired and encouraged Harlow Shapley and Edwin Hubble toward some of the most significant New York, He wanted a large-aperture reflector, which could feed a large spectrograph, on a clear-sky mountain peak. • The Hale Scrapbooks (DVD), scans of newspaper clippings of Hale’s career from the early 1890s through the 1950s, shared by Robin and Todd Mason. • William Sheehan and Donald E. Osterbrock, “Hale’s ‘Little Elf’—The Mental Breakdowns of George Ellery Hale,” Journal for the History of Astronomy, 2000. He engaged his energies in building a private solar observatory in Pasadena, near the border of San Marino. His visit to Mount Wilson was marred by an enveloping fog, preventing Carnegie from looking through the 60-inch telescope to view Halley’s comet. Many of the world's leading astronomers used this telescope to make fundamental discoveries that changed the views of the Universe. It was here that the idea for moving to Palomar took shape, as Mount Wilson was located in what was now a heavily light-polluted area near Los Angeles. Jan 27, 1609. In June 1903, Hale visited Mount Wilson (then called Wilson’s Peak), where he conducted tests of the solar seeing. The wide-field imaging capabilities of this telescope (it has a usable field hundreds of times larger than that of the 200-inch Hale Telescope) makes it ideal for conducting systematic surveys of the sky. Doctors recommended rest and travel. This is the very first instrument used at the observatory that created a broad map of the sky which is used in the Hubble space telescopes today. Hale was the prime mover behind the founding of Caltech and the establishment of the Huntington Library and Art Gallery, and exerted a considerable influence on the intellectual and cultural life of Pasadena. The Sun is shining and they are working on Palomar.”. Wrote Adams, “The isolation of the mountain top … made a strong appeal to [Hale’s] pioneering spirit and his joy in the discoveries of the ever-changing beauties in nature….”, Hale atop Mount Wilson in 1903, scouting for a site for his observatory. Hale enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and volunteered to work in astronomical photography with Edward C. Pickering at the Harvard College Observatory. Big vision, big telescopes The vision for the Palomar Observatory is credited to George Ellery Hale, a 19th- and 20th-century astronomer who is known not only for his scientific discoveries — … …His life was a rebuke and a refutation to cynicism. George Ellery Hale, born 150 years ago on June 29, helped transform not just Caltech but all of astronomy. It had a pleasant library and a solar spectroheliograph in the basement, and it became a place where he could indulge in his own research in solitude. He also invented the spectrohelioscope, a type of spectroscope with an oscillating slit or rotating prism above the slit so as to scan the whole surface of the Sun within a few minutes, and he used it on the Snow to photograph the distribution of the clouds of individual gases over the surface. But, as Walter S. Adams noted, “In 1910, after six years of active and productive work, the first shadows of physical illness began to fall across Hale’s life.” The pressure of the relentless search for funds was taking a considerable toll on Hale’s health. But in particular, he wished to extend the recent discoveries made by Edwin Hubble and others concerning the large-scale structure of the universe. Today, astronomers believe that quasars are actually galaxies with overpowering supermassive black holes in their centers. Visit our corporate site. "They combined two techniques — adaptive optics and a coronagraph — to minimize the glare from the star and reveal the dim glow of the much fainter planets," read a press release at the time. Both Hooker and Ritchey protested using the “flawed” disk; Hooker demanded to be released from further obligations if he paid the $45,000, despite more pleas from Hale. University of Chicago Photographic Archive. Discoveries & Observations. So even as the 60-inch reflecting telescope was being built, Hale was looking for the funding for a reflector with a 100-inch mirror. By 1928, Palomar had a $6 million grant ($83.5 million in 2014 dollars) in place to construct a 200-inch (5 m) telescope. At even an early age, boundless energy, enthusiasm, restlessness, and drive characterized Hale’s personality. Galileo studies the things in the sky Galileo was the first to use a telescope. The brightest comet of the modern era, Comet Hale-Bopp, was visible without a telescope for 18 months from May 1996 through December 1997, peaking in brightness in April 1997. Hale telescope on California’s Palomar Mountain is still making discoveries nearly 60 years after its dedication.) [Related: What Is a Planet?]. The Hale Telescope, as it became known, helped astronomers measure the expansion of the universe and discover exotic, bright objects called quasars, among numerous other achievements. Dec. 18, 1999: NASA launches Terra Earth-observing satellite, Reid Wiseman named new chief astronaut at NASA for 'exciting times to come'. In a retrospective published in 1947, Walter Adams wrote: “In looking backward over the earlier years of the history of [Mount Wilson] Observatory, I am impressed by the greatness of the figure of Hale, without whom it is doubtful whether the Observatory, if established at all, could ever have attained its high position in the field of astronomy.”. In 1914, Hale and his colleagues found that sunspots in northern and southern hemispheres reverse polarity every 11 years. Astronomer George Ellery Hale, whose vision created the Palomar Observatory, built the world's largest telescope four times in succession. His bibliography includes nearly 450 titles, from spectroscopic observations of solar prominences to an analysis of the intellectual culture of France, and includes nontechnical books as well as scientific works. A second, identical Keck telescope was built in 1996. Here's a photo tour inside the historic facility. Hale is carrying the gold-plated golf club given to Carnegie at a luncheon at the Annandale Country Club. In later years, when illness prevented him from carrying on actively the investigations he had most at heart, he conceived the project of the 200-inch telescope [at Palomar Mountain] and secured the necessary financial support, leaving this great instrument as his final gift to the science he had loved so well.”. But why stop when there was so much more to see, when fantastic views of distant galaxies could be within reach? 42 Planets Discovered By Amateurs, Including Fifteen That Could Support Life2012. Following Hale’s death, colleague Harold Babcock wrote these words in memoriam: “Few men have enjoyed a life so rich as Hale’s in those returns that bring the deepest satisfaction. And as soon as the Hooker telescope was finished, Hale began dreaming of building another, even larger one. He used the spectrograph installed on the Snow for analyzing the Sun’s light and the behavior of the spectral lines of the elements in the Sun’s atmosphere. Jan 1, 1889. Image of Abell 30 by the 4-meter (158 inch) aperture Mayall telescope, a ... Hale Telescope Palomar Obs. They … The telescope has made many other discoveries over the years, including the first time the entire Northern sky was photographed, regularly discovering supernovae (star explosions) and asteroids, and looking at mysterious gamma-ray bursts that could originate from black holes. George Ellery Hale using the spectrograph in the 60 foot solar telescope, where, in 1908, he discovered magnetic fields on the Sun, the key to understanding sunspots and solar weather. Saint-Gobain agreed to absorb the loss for the rejected disk and to try again, and Hale could only wait anxiously for more news from France. Afterwards, Carnegie provided more funding for the Observatory, which he termed “the pulpit of the universe.”. During the period the Hale Telescope was under construction, other astronomers saw the benefit of smaller telescopes that could survey the sky to find interesting targets for the larger Hale Telescope. Scientists have finally solved the mystery surrounding a glowing blue ring of light that was unlike anything astronomers had seen before. In 1902, Andrew Carnegie announced a plan to set up an institution to finance research and discovery — Hale’s ears must have perked up at this news. In 2011, astronomers using the Samuel Oschin Telescope and others discovered a new kind of supernova. Palomar was his crowning achievement. Returning to the United States, he heads to Mount Wilson. The assembly at the Cerro Tololo mountaintop was finished in 1974. Still, he spoke highly of the Observatory and indicated that more funding would be forthcoming. The trip included a visit to Lick Observatory, which captivated Hale’s imagination with the then-largest telescope in the world — a 36-inch refractor. Palomar Observatory, astronomical observatory located on Mount Palomar, about 40 miles (65 km) north-northeast of San Diego, Calif.The observatory is the site of the famous Hale Telescope, a reflector with a 200-inch (508-cm) aperture that has proved instrumental in cosmological research. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, he founded The Astrophysical Journal, which to this day is one of the premier publications worldwide for astronomers to showcase their work. NASA.gov brings you the latest images, videos and news from America's space agency. THE DISCOVERY OF COMET HALE-BOPP Alan Hale September 1995 Ron Baalke has asked me to write this up in order to give readers an idea about who the discoverers of Comet Hale-Bopp are, and how we managed to find it. Astronomers using the 48-inch Samuel Oschin Telescope at Palomar Observatory discovered a new kind of supernova in 2011. Palomar Observatory near San Diego, California, is a center of astronomical research owned and operated by Caltech. Galileo's Telescope. "Caltech and the Palomar Observatory have worked with and will continue to work with city, county, and tribal governments to diminish the effects of local light pollution.". The Palomar Observatory in Southern California, the home of the iconic Hale telescope, was a powerhouse of astronomical discoveries for many years. Hale telescope at Palomar was able to fine-tune the exciting discoveries begun by George Ellery Hale’s telescopes at Yerkes and Mt. Such projects involved years-long endeavors on Hale’s part in convincing a series of individuals, foundations, and institutions to fund these magnificent observatories. Photo: Carnegie/ Huntington Library. A 60-inch glass, provided earlier by Hale’s father at the behest of his son, was moved from Yerkes to Pasadena. Improvements in the mountain roads had enabled the transport of the more than 600 tons of material for the dome, and the mirror’s journey involved nearly 200 men to accompany a truck carrying the mirror as it made the 8-hour trip at an average speed of about 1 mile per hour. Using the 60-foot solar telescope, which became operational in 1908, Hale showed that sunspots are the centers of strong magnetic fields — the first detection of a magnetic field beyond Earth. For years, Hale had suffered from blinding headaches and ringing in his ears. In recent years, Palomar is perhaps best remembered for the discoveries of small worlds near the edge of the solar system. Hale has left an impress upon the life of science which will endure for generations to come. Discovery of the Hale-Bopp comet by Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp: This was an amazing and interesting discovery because it was done by two different people. Andrew Carnegie cheerily came to call in March 1910, greeted warmly by Pasadena luminaries and followed about avidly by newspaper reporters. Hale Telescope is basically a reflector. George Ellery Hale remains today among the greatest astronomers of all time. The pouring for this giant glass disk attracted huge public attention.The radio commentator Lowell Thomas termed the event “the greatest item of interest to the civilized world in 15 years, not excluding the World War.”. The designation remains controversial today. Article by Marilyn Morgan. Hale knew that when it was completed, it would help make discoveries that would revolutionize our view of the universe. • Mount Wilson Observatory website, numerous histories, www.mtwilson.edu. The observing run demonstrated that even before the telescope was fully optimized, it was already able to achieve better resolution than the 200-inch Hale Telescope at Palomar Observatory, supplanting the 200-inch as the world's most powerful telescope—a title the 200-inch had held since 1948. In 2010, a small portion of Hale's mirror made a surprise feat: it managed to image three exoplanets. Within a decade, astronomer Edwin Hubble used it — then the largest telescope in the … Another space explorer, NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, made history with its discovery of thousands of exoplanets, searching for tiny dips in starlight as the planets crossed the … • Ronald Florence, The Perfect Machine: Building the Palomar Telescope, Harper 
Collins, 1994. His failing strength prevented him from ever visiting the site or seeing the work in progress, though, as Adams wrote, each clear day, Hale rejoiced “in one more day for work on Palomar.” He worked on the first Pasadena City Planning Commission, and guided the master plan for the city’s Civic Center. Hale secured funding for the 200-inch in 1928, but the telescope would not be completed until 1948, 10 years after his death. When the Hooker Telescope first looked skyward in 1917, no one knew what wonders it might reveal. He supervised the construction of two large telescopes at the Mount Wilson Observatory near Los Angeles. Galileo’s Refracting Telescope. He made groundbreaking discoveries of his own, and organized many scientific projects of enormous significance. The disk was annealed for one year, then shipped to the U.S., arriving on December 7, 1908, in Pasadena on the day the 60-inch telescope was set in place. In September 1910, a meeting of the International Union for Co-operation in Solar Research was held on Mount Wilson. NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory is a telescope specially designed to detect X-ray emission from very hot regions of the Universe such as exploded stars, clusters of galaxies, and matter around black holes. There he developed the first form of his ingenious spectroheliograph, but, eschewing long hours at the telescope, Hale hired Ferdinand Ellerman as an assistant. In quick succession, they discovered Quaoar in 2002, Sedna in 2003 and Eris in 2005, among others. A wonderful documentary film entitled Journey to Palomar tells the incredible story of this remarkable man’s life. The Palomar Observatory is an astronomical research center located in north San Diego County, California. He invented the spectroheliograph and the spectrohelioscope, and adapted the tower telescope and vertical spectrograph for solar investigation.