Harlan J. Smith Telescope
|Named after||Harlan James Smith|
|Part of||McDonald Observatory|
|Telescope style||Optical telescope|
|Diameter||107 in (2.7 m)|
The Harlan J. Smith Telescope is a 107-inch (2.7 m) telescope located at the McDonald Observatory, in Texas, in the United States. This telescope is one of several research telescopes that are part of the University of Texas at Austin observatory perched on Mount Locke in the Davis Mountains of west Texas. The telescope was completed in 1968 with substantial NASA assistance, and is named after Harlan James Smith, the first Texas director of McDonald Observatory. Smith was the Observatory Director for 26 years.
The telescope was the victim of an act of vandalism in February 1970. A newly hired worker suffered a mental breakdown and brought a hand gun into the observatory. After firing one shot at his supervisor, the worker then fired the remaining rounds into the Primary Mirror. The holes effectively reduced the 107-inch (2.7 m) telescope to the equivalent of a 106-inch telescope (or about 2.5 centimeters less), but did not affect the quality of the telescope's images, only the amount of light it can collect.
Contemporaries on commissioning
Four largest telescopes 1968:
|2||C. Donald Shane telescope
|1959||Nicholas Mayall |
C. Donald Shane
|3||Harlan J. Smith Telescope
|1968||Harlan J. Smith|
|4||Shajn 2.6m (Crimean 102 inch)
Crimean Astrophysical Obs.
(1969 ft) 
- Encyclopedia of Astrobiology, Astronomy & Spaceflight home page - Accessed 28 March 2006
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2010-01-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
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