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Session 1 - HAD I - Special Palomar Session.
Division, Oral session, Sunday, June 07

[1.03] George Ellery Hale, Caltech Astrophysics, And the Hale 200-inch Telescope, 1920-1948

D. E. Osterbrock (UCO/Lick Obs., UCSC)

Caltech and the 200-inch Hale telescope on Palomar are two of George Ellery Hale's many creations in Southern California. He brought the California Institute of Technology into existence in 1920; Palomar Observatory was built for it. However, even before Hale had "secured" the funds for the 200-inch, astrophysical research had been underway on the Caltech campus in Pasadena, and it intensified after the Rockefeller grant came through. Interactions between the campus, Palomar Mountain, and Mount Wilson Obervatory (one of Hale's earlier creations) played important roles in determining the course of Caltech astrophysics. Changing funding patterns (from private philanthropy to drought, then "defense" weapons-development programs, and then governmental agencies designed to support scientific research) will be briefly described.

The 18-inch Schmidt, built at the Caltech (200-inch Telescope) Shop, went into operation in 1936, the first research telescope on Palomar. The 200-inch, essentially completed, was dedicated in 1948 and went into operation for regularly scheduled research observations near the end of 1949. Its coude spectrograph was completed and put into regular use in stages from 1950 to 1952,

Among the most important leaders of Caltech astrophysics up to 1948 and the years immediately after it when the 200-inch went into full operation were Robert A. Millikan, Max Mason, and Lee A. DuBridge. Some of the astrophysicists who worked at Caltech and Palomar were Albert Einstein, Richard C. Tolman, Fritz Zwicky, Ira S. Bowen, John A. Anderson, Sinclair Smith, John Strong, William A. Fowler and, just at the end of this period, Jesse L. Greenstein. Some of the key staff personnel were Russell W. Porter, Don O. Hendrix (on loan), and Byron Hill.

Program listing for Sunday