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Quiz about Mount Palomar Observatory
Quiz about Mount Palomar Observatory

Mount Palomar Observatory Trivia Quiz


George Hale was very instrumental in the existance of the Mt. Palomar Observatory. When built, it was the home of the largest reflector in the continental United States - a 200 inch mirror.

A multiple-choice quiz by almach. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
almach
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
253,519
Updated
Jul 23 22
# Qns
20
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
13 / 20
Plays
773
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
- -
Question 1 of 20
1. Who did George Hale buy the land from for the building of the 200 inch telescope? Hint


Question 2 of 20
2. Mt. Palomar Observatory was built 5,600 feet above sea level because it was the only land available.


Question 3 of 20
3. What company manufactured the 200 inch lens? Hint


Question 4 of 20
4. What material is the disk made from? Hint


Question 5 of 20
5. During the summer construction months, only the construction crew was allowed to pour the concrete for the base and foundation of the observatory.


Question 6 of 20
6. The size of the completed dome is 137 feet in diameter and 135 feet tall. These dimensions make it similar to which of these? Hint


Question 7 of 20
7. The 200 inch glass was transported in 16 days from New York to Pasadena, California by which method? Hint


Question 8 of 20
8. After the disk was delivered to Mt. Palomar, only the installation remained.


Question 9 of 20
9. World War II halted the work on the 200 inch disk.


Question 10 of 20
10. The dedication ceremony took place on June 3, 1948. It was formally named in honor of George Hale. What were some of the guests allowed to do during the ceremony? Hint


Question 11 of 20
11. Who took the first photograph using the 200 inch telescope? Hint


Question 12 of 20
12. The 200 inch Hale telescope is the only telescope at Mt. Palomar.


Question 13 of 20
13. Is the 200 inch telescope equipped with adaptive optics?


Question 14 of 20
14. Has the 200 inch mirror ever been re-aluminized?


Question 15 of 20
15. Is the public allowed to look through the 200 inch telescope?


Question 16 of 20
16. Did the United States ever issue a postage stamp of the telescope at Mt. Palomar?


Question 17 of 20
17. Where are the 200 inch Hale telescope operations controlled from? Hint


Question 18 of 20
18. The 200 inch Hale telescope was the largest scope in the world until what country built a 236 inch reflector? Hint


Question 19 of 20
19. Who owns and operates the Mt. Palomar observatory? Hint


Question 20 of 20
20. What very important project is Mt. Palomar involved with? Hint



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Mar 15 2024 : rainbowriver: 20/20
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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Who did George Hale buy the land from for the building of the 200 inch telescope?

Answer: U.S. Forest Service & some local ranchers

Hale purchased 160 acres of land by 1934. Mt. Palomar is located about 100 miles southeast of Pasadena, California. The California Institute of Technology, who owns and operates the observatory, is located in Pasadena, California. A six million dollar grant was provided by the Rockefeller Foundation.
2. Mt. Palomar Observatory was built 5,600 feet above sea level because it was the only land available.

Answer: False

All major observatories are built as high as they can be to avoid as much light pollution as possible. Another reason is, at higher altitudes, there is less atmosphere to have to look through, making images steadier.
3. What company manufactured the 200 inch lens?

Answer: Corning Glass Works

Corning was successful on the second attempt to make the 200 inch blank. They originally cast two 40,000 pound disks. The first one was flawed. The second one took about a year to cool.
4. What material is the disk made from?

Answer: Pyrex

A pyrex mirror does not expand and contract as much during changes in temperature as regular glass would.
5. During the summer construction months, only the construction crew was allowed to pour the concrete for the base and foundation of the observatory.

Answer: False

The observatory cooks and some undergraduate students helped in this task as well as the regular construction crew. This expedited the work.
6. The size of the completed dome is 137 feet in diameter and 135 feet tall. These dimensions make it similar to which of these?

Answer: Pantheon in Rome

At this size, the dome weighs about 1,000 tons and its piers are anchored some 22 feet to the bedrock below. The dome took two years to complete. Each of the shutters on the dome weigh in at 125 tons!
7. The 200 inch glass was transported in 16 days from New York to Pasadena, California by which method?

Answer: train

Guards were posted at overnight stops to prevent anyone determined to destroy or damage the glass. The glass was actually transported on the train in a specially made crate.
8. After the disk was delivered to Mt. Palomar, only the installation remained.

Answer: False

The disk needed to be ground to the proper concave form. Over 10,000 pounds were polished away. Components of the rest of the scope came from all over the country. The telescope tube was being shipped through the Panama Canal.
9. World War II halted the work on the 200 inch disk.

Answer: True

The 200 inch disk was stored for three years. Work restarted in September 1945. However, most of the workers did not return to complete the polishing, so a new group of people had to learn how to finish it.
10. The dedication ceremony took place on June 3, 1948. It was formally named in honor of George Hale. What were some of the guests allowed to do during the ceremony?

Answer: Ride on the dome as it rotated

The dome ride was reported to be smoother than an elevator (elevators of that era). Some of the guests thought the floor was turning instead of the dome.
11. Who took the first photograph using the 200 inch telescope?

Answer: Edwin Hubble

After 13 years of mirror polishing, the first photo was taken in January of 1949. The completed telescope is capable of seeing objects one million times fainter than the human eye.
12. The 200 inch Hale telescope is the only telescope at Mt. Palomar.

Answer: False

There is the 48 inch Samuel Oschin telescope, in use since 1949. There is also a 60 inch reflector that went operational in 1970 to help reduce the demand of the 200 inch. There is also a 24 inch telescope that began operation in 2006. There are other scopes as well.
13. Is the 200 inch telescope equipped with adaptive optics?

Answer: Yes

Not originally, of course, adaptive optics did not exist that far back. Adaptive optics removes the blurring effects caused by Earth's atmosphere.
14. Has the 200 inch mirror ever been re-aluminized?

Answer: Yes

Since the scope gets used about 300 nights a year, it does get cleaned every week. However, it also needs a new coat of aluminum, usually every two years, due to the fact that the aluminum wears off. To re-aluminize this mirror it must first be removed from the rest of the telescope.

This is done by placing a cart with a disc on it under the mirror cell. When the cart is properly aligned and the disc is connected to the mirror, the mirror and mirror cell are unbolted. An acid wash is used to strip away the old aluminum.

Then a chamber is placed over the mirror and lowered, covering the mirror. Then all the air is pumped out, creating a vacuum. Once this is done, the process of re-aluminizing can start. There are coils of tungsten with aluminum attached to them.

The coils are heated to over 1,000 F. and end up coating everything in the chamber with the aluminum. The layer of aluminum is only 3 millionths of an inch thick.
15. Is the public allowed to look through the 200 inch telescope?

Answer: No

Mt. Palomar's public outreach program has the observatory open most days of the year. During the day, they have a self guided tour.
16. Did the United States ever issue a postage stamp of the telescope at Mt. Palomar?

Answer: Yes

A three cent first class stamp was issued on August 30, 1948. Over 61,000,000 stamps were printed. The Scott # is 966. It depicts the dome with the shutters open.
17. Where are the 200 inch Hale telescope operations controlled from?

Answer: Inside a control room away from the scope

Originally, the control of the telescope was at a console unit in the dome.
18. The 200 inch Hale telescope was the largest scope in the world until what country built a 236 inch reflector?

Answer: Russia

This larger scope was built at the Special Astrophysical Observatory in Zelenchukskaya in the Caucasus Mountains. However, this telescope has never lived up to its potential. The completion of the first 10 meter Keck telescope was completed in 1992 and the second in 1996. They are located on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.
19. Who owns and operates the Mt. Palomar observatory?

Answer: The California Institute of Technology

The California Institute of Technology shares the Hale telescope with astronomers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Cornell University.
20. What very important project is Mt. Palomar involved with?

Answer: Searching for Near Earth Objects (NEO's)

The 48 inch Samuel Oschin Schmidt telescope was added to the team in 2001 to search for asteroids and comets known as Near Earth Objects (NEO's). This telescope is the same scope that produced photographs that help to lead to the discovery of Quaoar, Sedna and Eris (formerly known as Zena).
Source: Author almach

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor crisw before going online.
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