The Hale Telescope

What is the Hale telescope? Let’s began with the basic question such as, what is a telescope? A telescope is an instrument used for many jobs and discoveries. This instrument helps objects that are far away appear bigger using curved mirrors and lenses. The telescope has made a huge contribution to discoveries of the skies, stars, planets, and it has also helped accomplished many achievements for astronomy. Now, the hale telescope is located at the Palomar Observatory in California. This telescope was named after astronomer George Ellery Hale. Building this telescope was a challenge, especially for how big it is. Thanks to the funding of the Rockefeller Foundation to help with the telescope in 1928, George saw everything coming together. From the design to the planning and finally to the construction, everything was going well. It took about 20 years to build. Because, it took so long to build unfortunately George passed away before he could have seen its commissioning. After 20 hard working years of building, the telescope was completed in 1976. At that time the Hale telescope was a huge deal. According to Wikipedia it says, “The Hale telescope represented the technological limit in building large optical telescopes for over 30 years. It was the largest telescope in the world until the Russian BTA-6 was built in 1976, and the second largest until the construction of the Keck Observatory Keck 1 in 1993”.

The man responsible for the design of the Hale telescope was George Willis Ritchey. George Willis was the chief optical designer for the telescope. Willis’s design would have made a difference by having sharper images using a larger useable field of view. However, this idea never had the chance to at least be built. With Hale and Ritchey having problems such as the project being late and over budget, Hale had no choice but to refuse to the design. As soon as the design was rejected by Hale, Ritchey left the project of the telescope. Things weren’t looking very good for the project until the Rockefeller foundation helped Hale with a grant of six million dollars. The Rockefeller foundation wasn’t the only ones who helped with the construction of the telescope. The California Institute of Technology helped Hale by giving him a two hundred inch reflecting telescope. This amazing telescope first saw the light on January 26, 1949 during 10:06 p.m. It was Edwin Powell Hubble ( American astronomer) who the telescope was under the direction of during its first try. In Wikipedia it says, “The photographs made then were published in the astronomical literature and in the My 7, 1949 issue of Collier’s Magazine”.

The Hale telescope is unique in its own way. It has different types of points of view. The telescope uses a special type of equatorial mount which gives this telescope access to the entire sky. In the end, the Hale telescope turned out to be a complete success. It’s design, planning, and careful construction took the world by surprise. The telescope is still active today, standing nice and tall in the Palomar Observatory in California.