Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Fuertes Observatory at Cornell

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
5 replies to this topic

#1 John Jarosz

John Jarosz

    Astro Gearhead

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3503
  • Joined: 25 Apr 2004

Posted 08 November 2006 - 09:31 PM

I visited the Cornell University campus in Ithaca NY on business for a couple of days last week. I had a free evening so I made plans to stop in at their Fuertes Observatory on campus. I houses a 12 inch Warner & Swasey telescope built around 1922. The university and faculty do not have a huge amount of interest in the scope so they have turned over all the operation of it to the Cornell Astro Society which is made up of grad and undergrad Cornell students. The observatory is essentially at their disposal for use whenever they like. They get a small allowance from the astronomy department so they can keep current with eyepieces and "stuff". It's a pretty nice setup if you live in Ithaca.

The scope is essentially exactly as delivered by Warner and Swasey. It's a 12" F15. The drive is a weight driven mechanism that must be recharged every 80 minutes or so. Some of the knobs and clamps show some wear from 80 years of use but nothing has really been restored. Maybe new paint on the scope and mount 10 years ago. To move the scope by hand is quite easy, the axis bearings are very smooth. The entire arrangement is extremely rigid, with no vibration visible. The only modern addition is a 10" Schmidt camera (from the '70's) piggybacked onto the main tube. Since it's painted black it really doesn't intrude on the overall presentation of the scope. No digital anything, if you want to find something you look up the co-ordinates and set the circles just like it's 1925.

When I arrived the sky was clear but overcast clouds started rolling in. We managed to get a couple of views in of stars and the moon. We originally were trying for comet Swan, but the clouds came in too fast. I did manage to get some time looking at the moon during cloud breaks only. They were very nice views. Just myself and one of the members of the CAS had the entire place to ourselves and we only could have small breaks in clouds to view the moon. That was the only disappointment of the evening. It's really not at a dark site because it's in the middle of campus, but that's where they put these things back then.

I took some pictures which I'll post below along with some comments. I'll definitely go back the next time I visit, I just hope the clouds co-operate.
Cornell Astronomical Society

John

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1242475-Tailpiece.jpg


#2 John Jarosz

John Jarosz

    Astro Gearhead

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3503
  • Joined: 25 Apr 2004

Posted 08 November 2006 - 09:33 PM

The setting circles have electric slip rings to power the brass colored light fixtures

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1242479-mount.jpg


#3 John Jarosz

John Jarosz

    Astro Gearhead

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3503
  • Joined: 25 Apr 2004

Posted 08 November 2006 - 09:34 PM

Weight driven clock drive

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1242482-Drive.jpg


#4 John Jarosz

John Jarosz

    Astro Gearhead

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3503
  • Joined: 25 Apr 2004

Posted 08 November 2006 - 09:35 PM

You can the the knife edge baffles moving down the tube.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1242483-Objective.jpg


#5 trainsktg

trainsktg

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4983
  • Joined: 23 Aug 2005

Posted 08 November 2006 - 09:44 PM

Isn't the OTA a Brashear? W&S was contracted by Brashear to make many of his mounts.

Fine pictures of a fine telescope, thanks for posting these.

Keith

#6 John Jarosz

John Jarosz

    Astro Gearhead

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3503
  • Joined: 25 Apr 2004

Posted 08 November 2006 - 09:58 PM

A person on the Antique Telescope Society (the Oldscope Yahoo group) believes the lens was made by a W&S employee, Robert Lundin. He made a number of lenses for W&S scopes in the 20's & 30's. But no one yet has given out any definitive opinions - this was just a guess. I looked at the cell quite closely and did not see any names or makers marks.

John


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics