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McMath-Hulbert Solar Observatory Tower #1

McMath-Hulbert Solar Observatory Tower #1

The OAC occasionally organizes tours of various astronomical points of interest for its members. One such tour was of the historic McMath-Hulbert Solar Observatory in Lake Angelus, Michigan. Construction on the observatory began in the late 1920s in partnership with the University of Michigan. By 1936, it was considered to be the second-best solar observatory in the world. One of the most significant achievements at McMath-Hulbert was the production of the first time-lapse motion pictures of the sun using a home-brewed device called a spectroheliokinematograph. Research continued at the site until the late 1970s, when it was sold to private individuals.

The site is currently being restored by The McMath-Hulbert Astronomical Society. OAC members Tom Hagen and Richard Champine are part of the restoration team, and have made significant contributions to getting Towers #1 and #2 operational. The observatory is open to the public every Sunday from 12:00pm - 4:00pm.

The observatory consists of three towers, each containing different instruments. This picture shows Tower #1, home to a 6" refractor. This tower is the shortest of the three at 30 feet, and was the first one built at the site in the late 1920s. It's currently in working order.

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Image 2000 Oakland Astronomy Club