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Mt Wilson 60-inch telescope model by Barry Crist

September 18, 2012

I bought a new telescope–my smallest yet.

The 60-inch telescope at Mount Wilson not only played a big role in the history of astronomy, it also played a big role in my history in astronomy (see this and this). So I was happy to get one of the last models of the grand machine made by miniature telescope maker extraordinaire, Barry Crist.

Yes, there’s a mirror down there. Two, in fact–a primary mirror and a tertiary to send the light out the side of the scope to the eyepiece.

There’s the tertiary mirror lurking amidst the faux ironwork. There’s also a secondary mirror up at the front end, but I couldn’t get a clean shot of it. The mirrors aren’t image-forming and the eyepiece is just a painted plug, but still–little mirrors! So cool. And as the photos show, the little equatorial fork turns in both right ascension and declination.

And there’s the maker’s serial number cleverly hidden away at the back of the fork.

Unfortunately, these aren’t available anymore. I got one of the last three, and apparently Mr. Crist has no plans to make any more. There are still a few models of the 100-inch Hooker telescope available, which is made to the same scale as the 60-inch. Details here, while they last.

The miniature 60-inch and 100-inch telescopes by Barry Crist. Photo from the Mount Wilson Observatory website.

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