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American astronomer George Ellery Hale, set his sights on bigger, more powerful telescopes than what was available during the early 1900s. In 1917, Hale built a 100-inch telescope in Mount Wilson, California. This 5-ton instrument remained the largest telescope in the world until the creation of the 200-inch Hale telescope, put into use in 1948. The tube alone of the 200-inch Hale telescope weighs 150-tons. A 200-inch concave mirror sits at the bottom of the telescope tube. By pumping oil at a pressure of 300 pounds per square inch through all of the moving parts of the telescope, this remarkable piece of stargazing machinery is able to operate without any friction. Unfortunately, Hale passed away in 1938, years before the completion of the 200-inch Hale Telescope. However, this telescope stands at the California Mount Palomar Observatory as a testament to the man's commitment to gaining knowledge about the universe around him. The 200-inch Hale telescope is used today as one of the world's leading instruments of research in astronomy and astrophysics.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|