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

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

Ever sail through your work day as a media analyst thinking to yourself that if you have to sit through 30 more seconds of Canadian MPs' vacuous political spin of the indefensible, you would hurl the nearest hard object through your computer screen where the Canadian Parliamentary Affairs Channel has been faithfully conveying "Question Period" to you in all its bile-inducing accuracy in a small corner of your monitor... and wonder to yourself, "If only there were something sublime to ease the growing need for a bucketful of eye and ear bleach..."?

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.

(Three days to go, at most, before the House rises for more than a month. Must hang on. Will bookmark these links for the next 72 hours.)
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

« Older Goodbye 20th Centegenarians   |   Tofu makes you gay Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments