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Rutherfurd Observatory Dome in Manhattan, NYC

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#1 Jason H.

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:45 PM

I've just returned from a trip to New York City. I was determined on this trip to find something from New York's Astronomy past. Here's one, Columbia University's Rutherfurd Observatory in Manhattan. The following are images I shot when visiting the observatory. These domes appear to be about 15 stories above the ground level. The green one used to house a 12" Alvan Clark (sold in '97 to South Carolina State Museum), the white one a small radio telescope (which I did not see.)

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#2 Jason H.

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:54 PM

Close up

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#3 Jason H.

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:55 PM

back side

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#4 Jason H.

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:57 PM

inside (they kindly cracked the dome open to let a little light in for me.)

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#5 Jason H.

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:59 PM

That top-most wheel, that the dome rides on, is what appears to be a full-sized railroad rail!

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#6 Jason H.

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:02 PM

Man the helm!

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#7 Jason H.

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:04 PM

Under the moving (up/down) wooden floor for the observer's there was a space for what appeared to be 2 transits. This is looking up from under the floor.

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#8 Jason H.

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:09 PM

Those 2 blue boxes are reportedly where the transit survey instruments went, which are directly underneath the transit slit (shown in the post above just prior to this one.)

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#9 Jason H.

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:12 PM

When I asked how they might have dampened the buildings vibrations, they showed me in offices on the 14th floor the counter-vibration elements that might have been riding on some kind of rubber? (I could see some black tire like stuff up near those bolts on the perimeter of the square opening, but the actual dampening mechanism could be more sophisticated as I couldn't see it very well.)

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#10 Jason H.

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:13 PM

This is a different one in another office.

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#11 Jason H.

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:22 PM

This Sun dial is in front of the building.

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#12 Jason H.

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:25 PM

the other side of sun dial

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#13 Jason H.

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:27 PM

Original Sloan Digital Sky Survey disk was sitting in corner of one office.

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#14 Jason H.

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:29 PM

A better view of it.

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#15 Jason H.

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:30 PM

The other side of it with some kind of grouping details.

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#16 Jason H.

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:46 PM

Almost done, here's some iron truss support detail on base of the dome. A grad student from Australia put stars on the dome, from their perspective :)

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#17 Jason H.

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:53 PM

And lastly, here's a 16" just sitting on the elevating/moving floor of the observatory that needs salvation.

Regards, Jason W. Higley

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#18 tim53

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:29 PM

They replaced an Alvan Clark with a Meade SCT?

My Gawd!

-Tim.

#19 SkipW

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:35 PM

In the middle of NYC, that may be a good thing.

#20 dgreyson

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:04 AM

I've just returned from a trip to New York City. I was determined on this trip to find something from New York's Astronomy past. Here's one, Columbia University's Rutherfurd Observatory in Manhattan. The following are images I shot when visiting the observatory. These domes appear to be about 15 stories above the ground level. The green one used to house a 12" Alvan Clark (sold in '97 to South Carolina State Museum), the white one a small radio telescope (which I did not see.)


Oh, I've seen that Clark, a very nice one. The State museum is building a planetarium and and observatory domes to house the clark. I wondered where it came from. Im glad they are both being put back into use.

SC state Museum Clark Refractor

The SC museum has one of the largest collections of antique telescopes. More than half of these were made by Alvan Clark & Sons
Robert Arial collection

#21 s800

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:12 AM

Very cool to see this, thank you!

#22 Scott Horstman

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:38 PM

They replaced an Alvan Clark with a Meade SCT?

My Gawd!

-Tim.


Looks like a 12". There's the "What in the wide wide world of sports" moment of the day.

#23 terraclarke

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:53 PM

That is a sad and sickening state of affairs. And they were probably so proud of their modernization and fiscal responsibility in the trade off. Must have been some real salesmanship involved in that deal. Kind of like when they persuaded the cities to rip up or bury their street car and inter-urban tracks and replace them with buses, cars, and freeways. Oh we are all so much better off by those wonderful altruistic maneuvers by the powers that be. :tonofbricks:

#24 tim53

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 08:58 PM

Well, it'd be not so bad if the Clark is being relocated to be used in a darker sky. But that big dome for an SCT? And if an SCT, why not something like a C-22?

But if it were me, I'd put a classical Cass or long focus Newtonian in there and monitor the planets with it (and any other things that won't care that they're being watched from NYC).

-Tim.

#25 terraclarke

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:30 PM

I'm not sure how dark Columbia SC is? Not to dark it would imagine? Yes, to bad they couldn't have gotten a really cool 1950s or 60s true Cassegrain or Cassegrain-Newtonian of say 16 inches of aperture. That would have been pretty cool.
Oh well, if people didn't want mini-vans they wouldn't still be selling them! Uh oh! Don't mean to evoke the Edsel controversy. There are those who like them, though I'd rather have a 1936 Packard ;)






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