Hale then moved on and in 1904 founded the Mt. Wilson Observatory. There the first modern research telescope, the 60 ", was completed in 1908. It was followed up by the 100-inch Hooker Telescope, completed in 1917. Edwin Hubble used the 100" to discover the true nature of the "spiral nebulae" (galaxies) and the expansion of the universe.
Again Hale moved on to a bigger project. In 1928 he secured a six million dollar grant to build what would become the Palomar Observatory.
The Palomar story is brilliantly chronicled in the book The Perfect Machine by author Ronald Florence. The book has inspired a TV documentary called The Journey to Palomar, which follows Hale's remarkable path.
TV viewers will have to wait until after the November elections to see The Journey to Palomar on PBS, however a special advance-screening will be held at the University Club of Pasadena on Saturday February 23, 2008.
The event and screening of the film is to help offset broadcast costs for this PBS Special. To sweeten the offer, some valuable extras are included for those who attend, such as dinner and a preview of one of the next giant telescopes on the horizon ($150 donation). The $250 donation level includes the same plus some pretty amazing stuff: a rare tour of the Hale Solar Lab, a behind-the-scenes tour of the
A discount on those rates is being offered for astronomy club members. Those who sign up at the $250 level will get a $75 discount. At the $150 levels, astronomy club members will receive a $25 discount. Plus, all donations are tax deductible.Full information on the sneak preview and the extras are detailed here, but to get your discount you should call the filmmakers at 310-313-6005.
I highly recommend both the book and the documentary.