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Pencil Sketches of Palomar Observatory
December 12, 2006 9:46 AM   Subscribe

Russell W. Porter was an amateur astronomer who helped design the 200 inch telescope for Mount Palomar observatory. His pencil sketches of the finished mechanism are remarkably beautiful.
posted by jonson (15 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Those are pretty cool. Nice.
posted by justkevin at 9:59 AM on December 12, 2006


U.F.B!
posted by sfts2 at 10:11 AM on December 12, 2006


Those are amazing sketches. Thanks, jonson.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:12 AM on December 12, 2006


The other images on his site, such as the ones from star parties, interest me more, but those are still some very cool sketches. Thanks!
posted by jiawen at 10:26 AM on December 12, 2006


Those are pencil drawings?! Amazing. Think I may need a new wallpaper on my machine.

Amazing. Thanks for the post.
posted by elendil71 at 10:27 AM on December 12, 2006


I grew up in Escondido, CA, which is pretty close to Palomar Mountain. I have such fond memories of visiting Palomar every year to tour the observatory(and to play in the snow, natch). I'm positive that was the impetus for my love of astronomy.

Here's an interesting history of the Palomar Observatory. It was the largest telescope of its type at the time of its building, funded by a grant from the [soon to be] Rockefeller foundation. Also, our pal Edwin Hubble used the telescope, "Hubble pronounced the telescope a glorious success."
posted by Democritus at 10:31 AM on December 12, 2006


In the late 70's my father and i, met Allen Sandage who was nice enough to give us a inside tour of the facility. He told us of one cold night, taking pictures (glass plates) when he droped a peanut butter and jelly sandwitch on the 200 inch mirror from the basket. As you can imagine cleaning that mirror is a pita.
posted by blink_left at 11:27 AM on December 12, 2006


Very sweet!
posted by OmieWise at 12:26 PM on December 12, 2006


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Well, if you have, then you'll understand the joy I experienced at following these links. Fascinating stuff. Thanks -- a whole bunch! -- for the visual oasis.

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posted by Mike D at 12:41 PM on December 12, 2006


His pencil sketches of the finished mechanism are remarkably beautiful.
You're right, they are.

At the beginning of my college career, I was seriously weighing an astronomy degree. Then I realized the heavy physics and chemistry requirements--no thanks.
posted by blastrid at 1:55 PM on December 12, 2006


Not only outstanding, but I believe I've just found the basis for my new homebrew beer labels.

I was lucky enough to find the Nov. 1925 issue of Scientific American magazine, in which Russell W. Porter let the amateur telescope making cat out of the proverbial bag. Came home from work one day and found that my wife had taken a scissors and trimmed the whole magazine down so it would fit in a picture frame, cause she thought the magazine cover would make decor. (Yes, we are still married) but thanks Jonson for ripping the scab off of that one.
: )
posted by spock at 2:01 PM on December 12, 2006


spock : I believe I've just found the basis for my new homebrew beer labels.

That is quite a cool idea.

Great find jonson.

*grumbles at my lack of artistic skill*
posted by quin at 3:57 PM on December 12, 2006


These really are great; saw them at another blog a week or so ago. Thanks for posting them.

Hey, jonson, do you not do "via" anymore? I like "via;" it helps spread the word about the good sites where you find things like this...
posted by mediareport at 6:41 PM on December 12, 2006


I have a little .txt file on my desktop where I copy & paste urls that I want to post here, and a lot of the time I forget to write in that document where the link came from. I'll try & remember to attribute more often - I'm a fan of the via as well, believe me, it's how I found pretty much ever site I go to.
posted by jonson at 9:27 PM on December 12, 2006


I'll try & remember to attribute more often

That'd be great, for both MeFi and the sites that turn you on to this excellent stuff.
posted by mediareport at 3:33 PM on December 13, 2006


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