“Biggest in the World” - 1948 - 1993

• Length - 70 feet

• Weight of the Hale telescope - 1.2 million lbs.

• Weight of 200-inch mirror - 28,000 lbs.

The cross country train trip of the giant mirror glass became a national event.

“The mob was so dense that the yard master had to call city police to help clear the tracks of an estimated crowd of 10,000 . . . and autos coming from as far as you could see."

-James Murphy, C.B.&Q. Railroad

The massive 200-inch Palomar telescope was begun in 1928. It had required the most creative engineering in the world to invent the technology many had said was impossible. The effort would consume its creator. The mirror alone took eleven years to polish. The telescope was so big it had to be fabricated at a shipyard. The entire process had initiated the era of big science. Twenty years after it had been conceived the new instrument was finally ready. A new generation of astronomers would now carry on the quest begun by Hale and once again revolutionize our understanding of the universe.

Palomar Observatory

Palomar Observatory
A million pound Swiss watch
The Mirror
The Glass Train




Photo of the Hale Telescope