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Roberts wrote about this photo: "Tom Mathews with today's odds on 3C 48 being a star or a galaxy. (Its high redshift later identified it as a quasar)." Late 1950s. Photo ID 10.21.2-36


In the News

Astronomy news and views

2009 marks the International Year of Astronomy. In the Caltech Archives, important new acquisitions continue in the astronomy field. And old friends like the Hale papers continue to remind us of the critical role Pasadena and Caltech have played in astronomy for well over 100 years.


New astronomy photos

A recent donation of high-quality digital images by J. A. (Jim) Roberts augments the photographic record of the Owens Valley Radio Observatory by 90 images, half of which are in color. Roberts was a member of the Australian team led by John Bolton and Gordon Stanley that launched radio astronomy at Caltech, beginning in 1958.

OVRO antenna


Shown above right: A view of the second OVRO antenna, observers' quarters, and Sierra Nevada with snow, March 1959. Photo ID 10.21.1-25


Shown above left: Installing the declination tube for the second antenna, November 1958. Photo ID 10.21.1-7

Shown above right: Connecting the feed support to the second dish, November 1958. Photo ID 10.21.1-13


Einstein at Mt. Wilson

Einstein came to Caltech to discuss the cosmological implications of his relativity theory. In January 1931 he made an ascent to Mt. Wilson in the company of several astronomers, including William Campbell (shown below) and Edwin Hubble.

The 100-inch Hooker Telescope on Mt. Wilson above Pasadena was in its day the largest optical telescope in the world. The observatory was established by a grant from the Carnegie Institution of Washington in December 1904, and George Ellery Hale was appointed Director.

Shown above left: Mt. Wilson dome. Photo ID  ISB1.25-15

Shown above right: Einstein and Campbell on Mt. Wilson. Photo ID 1.6-5


Hubble at Palomar

Edwin Hubble's discovery of the redshift, the key to the expanding universe phenomenon, was done at the Mt. Wilson Observatory. Hubble was also on staff at the Palomar Observatory, where he is shown observing at the 48-inch Schmidt telescope in 1949.

Shown above: Edwin Hubble observing at the 48-inch Schmidt telescope, Palomar Observatory, in 1949. Photo ID 10.12-17

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