Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Palomar in Science Fiction - II

"Hurtle toward the far reaches of the universe with the
space vikings of the future!"

How can you pass on a tag line like that? Riders to the Stars (1954) is another science fiction film that features Palomar Observatory.

The basic premise is that there's important material in meteors that gets destroyed when they pass through Earth's atmosphere. So to get it, you've got to go up there and catch 'em. That's where Palomar comes in - tracking the meteors so that the, um, space vikings (which I take to mean explorers) come in.

If you watch the video below, you'll notice that the Palomar footage looks exactly the same as the footage from Rocketship X-M in my first Palomar in Science Fiction post.


video

Both Rocketship X-M and Riders to the Stars got their footage from The Big Eye Space Telescope, a seven-minute 1948 (newsreel?) documentary film made about the observatory.

For your viewing pleasure I have edited down The Big Eye Space Telescope to show the same clips as seen in Riders above.

video

Perhaps the use of the same video several times represents the 1950s version of a video going viral.

1 comment:

Ben said...

Thanks for putting all these clips up Scott. Its great to see this old footage. I had to smile to myself when they referred to the telescope as a 'giant eye'.
The operator panel looks so clean and new in the clip!
It was also good to see the footage of the prime focus being used, and the iris opening up.
Thanks again. Good job on this blog!