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Yerkes and US Naval Observatories. By: Danielle B. and Gia M. F ounded in 1897 by George Ellery Hale F inanced by Charles T. Yerkes O perated by the University of Chicago in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. Beginnings of Yerkes Observatory.

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yerkes and us naval observatories

Yerkes and US Naval Observatories

By: Danielle B. and Gia M.

beginnings of yerkes observatory

Founded in 1897 by George Ellery Hale

  • Financed by Charles T. Yerkes
  • Operated by the University of Chicago in Williams Bay, Wisconsin
Beginnings of Yerkes Observatory
modern astrophysics

The observatory, which calls itself "the birthplace of modern astrophysics.“

  • The observatory has the largest refracting telescope successfully used for astronomy.
  • Has a collection of over 100,000 photographic plates.
Modern Astrophysics
new scientific view

Caused a shift in the thinking about observatories.

  • Observatories changed dramatically.
  • Housing for telescopes and observers became the modern concept of observation.
  • Equipment integrated with laboratory space for physics and chemistry became available.
New Scientific View
current research

Present research activity includes work on the interstellar medium.

  • There is also research on globular cluster formation, infrared astronomy, and near-Earth objects.
  • The University of Chicago maintains an engineering center in the observatory, dedicated to maintaining the scientific instruments.
Current Research

Yerkes Observatory is most famous for its 102 cm (40 inch) refracting telescope built by the master optician Alvan Clark. This is the largest refracting telescope used for scientific research

  • telescope was exhibited at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago before being installed in the observatory.
  • the observatory also houses 102 cm and 61 cm reflecting telescopes
popular culture

Yerkes Observatory is the setting for about seven minutes of the 1996 movie Chain Reaction.[6] One of the principal characters, Maggie McDermott, is first seen looking through the big refractor. The movie features a gunfight on the roof of Yerkes Observatory and an airboat chase across frozen Geneva Lake.

Popular culture
united states naval observatory

Location: Washington DC, USA

  • Date: 1844 (23rd & E Street Site), 1893 (34th Street)
  • Designer: Richard Morris Hunt (1893)
United States Naval Observatory

The E street site proved to be a poor choice for an astronomical observatory due to the mud flats and swampy land.

  • The Naval Observatory required a clear atmosphere free from the smoke and heat radiation of nearby buildings.
  • Site was chosen for the rural character of the estate and the fact that the land had the highest elevation in the Washington, DC, area.

The only major telescope at the UNSNO is the famous 26” Alvan Clark Refractor.

  • The historic 26-inch refractor was originally placed in operation in 1873.
  • At that time it was the largest refracting telescope in the world.

The USNO has been the home of many famous Astronomers either as its Director, as staff members or as visitors.

  • In the post-Civil War era leading mathematicians and astronomers such as Simon Newcomb, C. Henry Davis, George William Hill and Asaph Hall we rewarded for their work at the USNO.
  • By far the most famous discovery ever made with the 26” Refractor is undoubtedly that of the Moons of Mars.
observatory fame

Under the leadership of Matthew Fontaine Maury, the Naval Observatory achieved wide acclaim for advances in astronomy, navigation, and oceanography.

  • He discovered the two moons of Mars: Phobos and Deimos.
  • Since 1893 the scientific research at the observatory has related to timekeeping.
  • Also the maintenance of time, and the fundamental celestial positions, motions and constants, which collectively comprise the field of astrometry.
Observatory Fame

The United States Naval Observatory is the only institution in the United States where such fundamental observations are made on a regular basis.

cited sources (Wikipedia)

  • (Famous Observatories)
  • (Tycho)
Cited Sources