Journey to Palomar Aug 29, 2011 3:42:05 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Aug 29, 2011 3:42:05 GMT -6
Journey to Palomar
What a finely produced show.
I never seen this before, as it is a few years old now, but PBS ran it again and I came across it by happenstance. Glad I did.
I had known about George Hale, as all good Astronomers should, seeing the Horseshoe 200" telescope in books as a kid, but did not know all the stories behind all the great telescopes he was directly responsible for.
And he had a mustache.
A man with incredible vision, ( and with a serious case of aperture fever), he understood that bigger is always better in astronomy...even when stodgy astronomers prudes at the time who felt it folly...."everything that can be observed has been"... It's amazing to me that the fact of individual galaxies are a recent discovery and that we are located in the outer section of just one of billions of "Island Universes". Quasars, Red shifting and the expanding Universe are all owed to Hale's vision.
He chased the money relentlessly to build the scopes, appealing to ego and glory... and I admire him greatly for building the world's great classic telescopes.
I like the intricate details that they focused on in building the telescopes and the failures encountered...like the floor crash at Yerkes, the 100" Hooker double vision and the incredible innovative engineering of the 200" Hale mirror and supporting infrastructure.
He suffered from mental/emotional difficulties, but maybe because of it, that he was able to lose himself in the pursuits as a way of dealing with the afflictions. I would have liked to have known him and share some scope time together.
I highly recommend this PBS production film to all Chicago Astronomers...