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Session 1 - HAD I: North of the Border: The Development of Canadian Astronomy.
Oral session, Sunday, January 12
Harbour A,

[1.04] J.S. Plaskett and the Origins of the Modern Large Reflecting Telescope

R. A. Jarrell (Atkinson Coll., York U.)

The large (>60-inch) reflecting telescope, despite 19th-century antecedents, is the technological foundation of 20th-century astronomy. We might assume that Ritchey's 60- and 100-inch reflectors at Mt Wilson were the first examples of modern telescopes. I will argue that it was 72-inch Victoria telescope, built for J.S. Plaskett's needs, that became the model for a whole generation of large telescopes throughout the world. It was a state-of-the-art, composite instrument that owed its engineering and design features to several astronomers and engineers, including Ritchey, David Gill, Howard Grubb, the Warner and Swasey team and Plaskett himself. The overall conception of the final product, despite technological improvements over the next four decades, remained remarkably unchanged.

Program listing for Sunday