The Telescope Arrives in Harvard!!
Valentine's day, 2002: The telescope arrives at Agassiz Station (Oak Ridge
Observatory), direct from Pottsville, Arkansas, in Mike's big trailer. You
can't see it in this shot, but just keep scrolling...
Out of the Trailer
Chris Desmarais helps roll the 500-pound primary cell structure out of the
trailer. You can see the upper swinging doors on the south side of the dome,
and the lower removable panel removed for access. Nice winter day, some snow
on the ground.
Into the Observatory
Mike, Chris, and Ray wrestle the thing into the dome, using the overbuilt
roof as a crane. We monitored the roof drive power, and were impressed that
the roof didn't even notice the additional quarter-ton load.
That's Cris, Ray, Alan, and Mike aligning the 2" solid steel axles in their
dual roller bearings. Note sledge hammer.
Primary Into the Mount
Here the primary cell is going, effortlessly, onto the mount; Alan provides
the needed sway.
Spider Goes On
More hoisting, this time the "forward-raking spider" design favored by
Ray and his crew. Alan's son David watches, slightly bored by the
uneventful nature of the installation.
Mike installs the secondary. It is 36" in diameter, larger than most amateur
telescopes (and equal to the aperture of the Princeton telescope that is
doing simultaneous SETI with our targetted search).
What good is a big telescope if you can't attach anything to it? Here Ray
and Mike attach the camera mount at the "offset-Newtonian" focus.
House of Mirrors
An unusual shot of Andrew and Laura, seen after two and zero bounces,
respectively. It's nighttime on Feb 14, and we're ready for first light.
At Night -- First Light!
The telescope went together in one day (!), and we took advantage of the
clear weather to examine image quality on transiting stars. It met
expectations (as expected)! In this shot you can see the usual suspects,
plus Pete Horowitz and Joe Zajac (left rear and front) and Robert Stefanik
(right rear). We celebrated with cheap champagne.