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Classic Telescopes in TV, Hollywood and Movies

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#176 BrooksObs

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 02:51 PM

Yet another classic scope appears in the background of a scene in, I believe, the recent Sherlock Holmes movie, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. In a scene where Sherlock comes face-to-face with Cambridge University's brilliant mathematician/astronomer, the alter ego of criminal genius Professor Morairty, one can briefly see a 19th century vintage mahogany tubed 2.5"-3" refractor apparently on a pillar-and-claw stand. It sits just to the left of the offices window and a ways behind Moriarty's left shoulder.

 

It is said by some that Arthur Canon Doyle may have based Moriarty's character on real world mathematician Simon Newcomb. Newcomb was revered as a multitalented genius, with a special mastery of mathematics and had become internationally famous in the years before Doyle began writing his stories. More to the point, Newcomb had earned a reputation for spite and malice, apparently seeking to destroy the careers and reputations of rival scientists. That does sound like Professor Moriarty all right. smirk.gif

 

An alternate persona, suggested by others and the one preferred by me, is the Astronomer Royal George Biddell Airy, the slave-driving head of Greenwich Observatory in Doyle's time. Likewise a mathematical genius, he was noted for his calculations of orbits. In the Game of Shadows movie the scene cited above has Sherlock, in disguise, asks for a dedication signature by the mathematician/astronomer in his office at Cambridge University. The book in question deals with the orbital calculations of an asteroid. That certainly ties in closely with Moriarty's historical identity as being Airy. Did anyone else catch this when viewing the film?  grin.gif

 

BrooksObs


Edited by BrooksObs, 02 November 2017 - 03:33 PM.

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#177 jcruse64

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 07:40 PM

Never noticed, but now you're making me want to watch it again, lol. I read the complete series of Doyle's Holmes Works every couple of  years.


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#178 Terra Nova

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 05:50 AM

My ‘other name’ is Irene Adler! ;)


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#179 smithrrlyr

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 06:10 AM

 

 

It is said by some that Arthur Canon Doyle may have based Moriarty's character on real world mathematician Simon Newcomb. Newcomb was revered as a multitalented genius, with a special mastery of mathematics and had become internationally famous in the years before Doyle began writing his stories. More to the point, Newcomb had earned a reputation for spite and malice, apparently seeking to destroy the careers and reputations of rival scientists. That does sound like Professor Moriarty all right. smirk.gif

 

 

Perhaps that's a little rough on old Simon.  He could be a sharp critic, as in his comments on Samuel Pierpont Langley, and he was known to be gruff at times.  However, his colleagues thought well enough of him to elect him the first president of what would later become known as the American Astronomical Society.  One would think that that position would require talents beyond the purely mathematical. It must be admitted, however, that Newcomb's early role in the AAS was not appreciated by everyone, so there may have been a bit of Moriarty in him.  Maybe it was thought better to have such a prominent astronomer supporting the new organization, whatever his failings.  I am getting away from the theme of the thread in this response, so I will just conclude with the thought that it might be worth starting another thread sometime (if it has not already been done) about astronomers and their observatories in literary fiction.



#180 akman1955

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 07:31 AM

I have never seen that version. I’ll have to check it out!

its the one version with Karen black in it. AKA Shirley temple


Edited by akman1955, 10 November 2017 - 12:26 PM.

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#181 Terra Nova

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 11:14 AM

 

I have never seen that version. I’ll have to check it out!

its the one version with Karen black in it.

 

 

Will check it out. I am just not a big fan of re-makes. There are some that I have seen that (in my opinion) were either not as good as the original or were just plain awful!

 

King Kong

The Day The Earth Stood Still

The Thing

War of the Worlds

The Invasion of the Body Snatchers

etc.



#182 Martin

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 03:45 PM

I have watched that remake of Invaders from Mars. It is actually kind of good. Karen Black had a good part in it. Yes, I do remember seeing that Unitron telescope as well.

 

Martin



#183 grif 678

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 09:16 PM

Saw an old episode of the TV series,   Men Into Space,   today. I guess most of you older ones would remember this, very life like in black and white. This episode was about man's first landing on the moon, and when they got there, they set up a telescope to look at Mars. It looked light one of the older white tube Meade reflector, looked like an eight inch, probably the 826 model. I would think this series was made in the late 50's or early 60's.


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#184 Terra Nova

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 09:45 PM

Te show originally aired for just one season, from September 1959 to June 1960. There were 38 episodes. Maybe the scope was a Cave? It predates Meade.


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#185 rcwolpert

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 09:52 PM

In "Stranger Things" the science teacher has a 60mm refractor in his home. Will need a closer look to determine the make. BTW, what a great series on Netflix.


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#186 Mr Magoo

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 10:10 PM

Saw an old episode of the TV series,   Men Into Space,   today. I guess most of you older ones would remember this, very life like in black and white. This episode was about man's first landing on the moon, and when they got there, they set up a telescope to look at Mars. It looked light one of the older white tube Meade reflector, looked like an eight inch, probably the 826 model. I would think this series was made in the late 50's or early 60's.

We have discussed this one before. It was the second episode in the series. The scope was a Cave I believe. You can even see the sticker in some shots. Not good enough to read though. https://www.youtube....h?v=rQbburJE8xQ  In another episode where they land on Phobos they are using a 6" reflector of some kind. In yet another episode, "Christmas On The Moon", there is a Unitron 140.


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#187 Garyth64

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 09:34 PM

You'll have to watch a long time to see the scope, so @ 19:17 is the first glimpse of the scope.  An astronaut is looking thru it, (and his helmet visor), and says . . .

 

"Telescopic observation is infinitely better than that made from earth".  Then the guy faints from the fantastic views!

 

You can glimpse the scope also @ 22:18.


Edited by Garyth64, 20 November 2017 - 09:35 PM.


#188 clamchip

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 09:53 PM

Beach Party (1963) and the professor looks like he's got a 50mm Swift 838: 

http://www.tcm.com/m...or-Sutwell.html

 

Robert


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#189 Terra Nova

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 10:33 PM

I watched this silly contemporary romatic dramedy (Brightest Star, 2013) today on Hulu mainly because it had an astronomy angle that turned out to be a really small part and not a very well done part. Anyway, can anyone place the observatory? You can see it in the trailer:

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1877688/

 

PS, check out the huge eyepiece turret!



#190 barium

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 02:16 PM

there's a matte based on the Hale telescope at mt. palomar in 'When Worlds Collide'.

 

we see it early on when Randall (Richard Derr) shows up at the fictional mt. kenna observatory in africa.


Edited by barium, 24 November 2017 - 02:20 PM.

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#191 barium

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 02:20 PM

don't forget that nice telescope manned by Richard Carlson in his backyard in 'It came from outer space'.


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#192 Mr Magoo

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 06:35 PM

Have you seen the new Dos Equis commercial? Who can identify this scope or observatory? 

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=0uLhJJMi7D0


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#193 deSitter

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 09:20 PM

Have you seen the new Dos Equis commercial? Who can identify this scope or observatory? 

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=0uLhJJMi7D0

It's F.G.W.T. F. Struve!

 

-drl



#194 James_SD

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 08:25 PM

I tried to search the 8 pages of this thread for the movie "The Sound Barrier" and did not find it (doesn't mean it wasn't mentioned).  It was a 1952 British movie about a British aircraft manufacturer (Richfiled--fictional?) trying to break the sound barrier and claiming to succeed (maybe Yeager was still classified when this movie was made).

 

The company president has giant country estate with a giant refractor in his study.  Pretty neat looking scope with weight driven clock drive.  Appears to be about 8 to 10 inch, but small amount of counterweights makes me wonder if they forgot to put in an objective.

 

Anybody know anything about it (or direct me to reply that covered it)?  Real or just a reasonably good movie set prop?

 

A lot of the science in the movie is kind of iffy, so the scope is likely to be a prop.

 

James


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#195 Mr Magoo

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 08:30 PM

I tried to search the 8 pages of this thread for the movie "The Sound Barrier" and did not find it (doesn't mean it wasn't mentioned).  It was a 1952 British movie about a British aircraft manufacturer (Richfiled--fictional?) trying to break the sound barrier and claiming to succeed (maybe Yeager was still classified when this movie was made).

 

The company president has giant country estate with a giant refractor in his study.  Pretty neat looking scope with weight driven clock drive.  Appears to be about 8 to 10 inch, but small amount of counterweights makes me wonder if they forgot to put in an objective.

 

Anybody know anything about it (or direct me to reply that covered it)?  Real or just a reasonably good movie set prop?

 

A lot of the science in the movie is kind of iffy, so the scope is likely to be a prop.

 

James

This one? https://www.imdb.com...er/rm3136312576


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#196 Mr Magoo

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 08:30 PM

I tried to search the 8 pages of this thread for the movie "The Sound Barrier" and did not find it (doesn't mean it wasn't mentioned).  It was a 1952 British movie about a British aircraft manufacturer (Richfiled--fictional?) trying to break the sound barrier and claiming to succeed (maybe Yeager was still classified when this movie was made).

 

The company president has giant country estate with a giant refractor in his study.  Pretty neat looking scope with weight driven clock drive.  Appears to be about 8 to 10 inch, but small amount of counterweights makes me wonder if they forgot to put in an objective.

 

Anybody know anything about it (or direct me to reply that covered it)?  Real or just a reasonably good movie set prop?

 

A lot of the science in the movie is kind of iffy, so the scope is likely to be a prop.

 

James

This one? https://www.imdb.com...er/rm3136312576



#197 deSitter

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 08:52 PM

Brits were at it during the war. They just didn't succeed - there being a war and all.

 

-drl



#198 James_SD

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 09:12 PM

that's it.  That scene is at the end of the movie, but the scope also appears earlier as well.



#199 Terra Nova

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 06:58 AM

Brits were at it during the war. They just didn't succeed - there being a war and all.

 

-drl

 

Yes. They got pretty close with their Spitfire. Topped 600 mph! I think that was the highest speed attained by any WWII propeller driven fighter. I always thought they were beautiful planes. So sleek and those beautiful leaf-shaped wings!


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#200 steve t

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 11:32 AM

Men into Space, wow that brings back memories. I couldn't have been more than four years old, and the only thing I remember is the astronauts having a big step from their hatch to the wing of their spaceship. Watching that show with my Cape Canaveral set spread out on the floor is one of my dusty memory along with once and a while eating TV dinner and watching Soupy Sales show  


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