Otto Struve Telescope

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The telescope itself
The telescope's dome

The Otto Struve Telescope was the first major telescope to be built at McDonald Observatory. Located in the Davis Mountains in West Texas, the Otto Struve Telescope was designed by Warner & Swasey Company and constructed between 1933 and 1939 by the Paterson-Leitch Company. Its 2.1 meter (82 inch) mirror was the second largest in the world at the time.[1] It is named after the Russian-American astronomer Otto Struve.

The Davis Mountains are an excellent location for astronomical research because of the clear dry air and moderately high elevation but the remote nature of the facility proved to be a significant challenge in transporting such a large mirror. It was a very precarious journey for the Otto Struve Telescope's mirror to this remote part of Texas and up to the top of Mount Locke. The mirror was transported from the local town of Fort Davis up the mountain by Carleton D. Wilson, owner of a local trucking company while locals cheered as they looked on.

The Otto Struve telescope is still in use today. It is equipped with modern imaging detectors allowing astronomers to conduct many types of research.

Contemporaries on commissioning[edit]

The Otto Struve telescope saw first light in 1939, behind the 100-inch Hooker telescope and ahead of two large British Commonwealth telescopes, both in Canada. Many competing projects were delayed due to a large war in the early 1940s.

Four largest telescopes in 1939:

# Name /
Observatory
Image Aperture Altitude First
Light
Special advocate
1 Hooker Telescope
Mount Wilson Obs.
100inchHooker.jpg 100 inch
254 cm
1742 m
(5715 ft)
1917 George Ellery Hale
Andrew Carnegie
2 Otto Struve Telescope
McDonald Obs.
Otto Struve Telescope.jpg 82 inch
208 cm
2070 m
(6791 ft)
1939 Otto Struve
3 David Dunlap Observatory Dunlap Observatory.jpg 74 inch
188 cm
224 m
(735 ft)
1935 Clarence Chant
4 Plaskett telescope
Dominion Astrophysical Obs.
Dominion Astrophysical Observatory front.jpg 72 inch
182 cm
230 m
(755 ft)
1918 John S. Plaskett

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ It was second only to the Mt. Wilson 100-inch (2.5 m) telescope.

External links[edit]