Mt. Wilson 105 Years Old

A "Dark nebula" taken in 1910 at Mt.Wilson.  Credit: Hale via
A “Dark nebula” taken in 1920 at Mt.Wilson. Credit: Hale via

One of the worlds great observatories, Mt. Wilson is celebrating 105 years since “first-light” on December 8, 1908. The observatory was founded by George Hale, and was outfitted with the 60-inch Hale telescope first and followed in 1917 by the 100-in Hooker telescope which was the largest telescope in the world until 1948 when the 200-inch Hale telescope was built at the Palomar Observatory.

Happy Birthday Mt. Wilson!

Here’s the caption with the image at

Taken in 1920 with the aid of the largest telescope in the world. One of the first photographs taken by the Mount Wilson telescope. There are dark nebulæ and bright nebulæ. Prof. Henry Norris Russell, against the British theory, holds that the dark nebulæ preceded the bright nebulæ Photo: Prof. Hale

About Henry Norris Russell

6 thoughts on “Mt. Wilson 105 Years Old

  1. 105 years?

    I knew the year, but not the date… I was up there just 5 days ago, with a group of 20 students, for a viewing session on the 60″ telescope. Unfortunately there was a high marine layer passing through, and we were only able to see a couple of globular clusters, a planetary nebula, and a double star before it got really socked in.

    Can’t wait to return when conditions are better, sometime next year.

  2. HAHAHA dyslexic fingers is what it was.

    Sad truth of it is I looked and looked at it and thought “something just doesn’t look right” and went ahead and pushed the button anyway. Oh well, thanks everybody.

Leave a Reply