Picture of the Day: The Lick Telescope

By Rebecca J. Rosen

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On this day in 1888, the telescope at the Lick Observatory near San Jose, California, caught its first light. At the time, with a lense measuring 36 inches, it was the largest telescope in the world. During the years of its use, astronomers there discovered several of Jupiter's moons, asteroid (29075) 1950 DA, and a handful of exoplanets. In 1897 it ceased to be the largest telescope in the world, when the Yerkes Observatory opened in Wisconsin. In 1939 an Army plane crashed into the observatory, killing two on board but, fortunately, managing to crash between the two telescope towers and causing little damage on the ground. Over the years, astronomers there discovered several of Jupiter's moons, asteroid (29075) 1950 DA, and a handful of exoplanets.

Below, recent Pictures of the Day:

Image: Library of Congress.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/01/picture-of-the-day-the-lick-telescope/250776/