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Presented By: Bentley Historical Library

Science @DO: "Mirror, mirror in the basement..." w/ Prof. Pat Seitzer

Prof. Pat Seitzer

Black and white image of man with 98-inch mirror. Black and white image of man with 98-inch mirror.
Black and white image of man with 98-inch mirror.
"´╗┐Mirror, mirror in the basement, what is the faintest star you can see?"

S´╗┐cience@DO is joined by U-M Astronomy Professor Emeritus Pat Seitzer to share the story of a giant telescope mirror that once lived in the Detroit Observatory basement and found a home in a telescope across the Atlantic Ocean.

"In the 1930s the University of Michigan planned a 98-inch reflecting telescope to be located near Dexter in Michigan. The 98-inch mirror was delivered (as part of the mirror development program for the 200-inch Palomar telescope). Sadly, World War II and the death of Heber Curtis (who championed the project) put an end to the project. The mirror was stored in the basement of the Detroit Observatory for many years, and eventually was sent to the UK where it became the first mirror in the Isaac Newton telescope at Herstmonceux. When that telescope was moved to the Canary Islands, the mirror was put on display outside at the Herstmonceux Science Centre, a piece of history of Michigan astronomy in the UK. I'll present the details of this marvelous history, including how the 0.6-m Curtis-Schmidt telescope of the U-M now in Chile figures into this."

Talk begins at 7PM. The historic Detroit Observatory will be open for tours following the talk. Telescope observing will be available, weather permitting.
Black and white image of man with 98-inch mirror. Black and white image of man with 98-inch mirror.
Black and white image of man with 98-inch mirror.

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