DAN SCHECHTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAN SCHECHTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
This optical telescope was the largest in the world when it was built in 1908 at the Mount Wilson Observatory, California, USA, by George Ellery Hale. Its mirror (not seen) was cast in 1894, and given to Hale by his father. Many important observations were made using this telescope, including observations that some of the objects called "nebulae" were in fact made up of star-like condensations. The "nebulae" were what are now called galaxies. The telescope has been upgraded and is still in use today. Mount Wilson Observatory, established in 1904, is at an elevation of 1742 metres in the San Gabriel Mountains.
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