The James R. Houck Telescope

Taking Dome FlatsLisa Grossman (Astro4410 student) with scope

The James R. Houck telescope at HBO was a project initiated by its namesake in 1972, using optics and a lightweight tube which had been fabricated in the late 1930s by Samuel T. Boothroyd, Cornell's first astronomer, and a mounting constructed by George Gull '72 as his senior design thesis in Mechanical Engineering. The telescope and observatory were dedicated in 1974.

The primary mirror is made of Pyrex from the Corning Glass Works, and is in fact from a 1/8-scale test pour by the Corning company in preparation for the making of the 200" Palomar mirror.

The Control Room

Greg Wojtaszczyk (Astro4410 student) controlling telescopeData reduction desk and kitchenette

The dome itself, like all professional observatories, is unheated. The telescope and instrumentation can be controlled from a neighboring control room which is heated and offers standard amenities plus several computers for simultaneous data reduction.

-- DonBarry - 2013-08-30