Earlier this week (Sept. 6th) marked the 73rd anniversary of first light for Palomar Observatory's first telescope, the 18-inch Schmidt (FYI, many purists prefer to refer to this type of instrument as a Schmidt Camera, but that is a story for another day). I posted some construction photos and info on this last year around this time, but I thought I would update with some news about the telescope itself.
The telescope produced some major discoveries in its day, but that day has passed. It isn't used for astronomy any more and it hasn't been for over a decade now. The telescope no longer even resides in its dome. Here is a shot of how it looked a couple of years ago before it was pulled from its dome:
As you can see below the telescope is in pieces now:
Don't worry. The old 18-inch Schmidt is about to get some TLC and will (hopefully within a year) be proudly on public display. As things get moving I'll post info here to update how things are progressing and give a preview or two as to how it will eventually be displayed.