Mount Wilson Observatory
Funded and operated by the Carnegie Institution of Washington,
the Mount Wilson Observatory opened in the early 1900s high
in the mountains near Los Angeles. Within a few years Mount
Wilson had the largest reflecting telescope in existence.
In 1917 an even bigger reflector was completed there, the
100-inch Hooker Telescope. The 100-inch remained the largest
telescope in the world for 30 years. With it astronomers at
Mount Wilson made several key discoveries that transformed
our view of the Universe.
Cage from the 100-Inch Telescope
structure, pictured on display inside the exhibition, is the
upper section of Mount Wilson's 100-inch telescope, one of
several interchangeable observing cages used on the instrument.
This cage and the camera attached to it were used by Edwin
Hubble in the 1920s and '30s during his monumental work on
nebulae and galaxies. An astronomer would sit on a platform
beside the cage to use the eyepiece or camera mounted on the
Lent by the Carnegie Institution of Washington's Mount
Wilson Observatory, operated by the Mount Wilson Institute
The Scenes: Installing
the Mt. Wilson 100-inch Newtonian Cage in the exhibition.
Return to: Looking
Further: Exploring The Universe with Photography
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The Universe with Spectroscopy