One of two photographs mounted in a passe-partout frame showing the Lick Observatory at Mount Hamilton, California during Summer.
Summer view showing the early appearance of the Lick observatory on Mount Hamilton in California. At an altitude of 4,250 ft, it was the first permanent mountaintop observatory to be established when completed in 1888. The astronomer Charles Piazzi Smyth, first scientifically demonstrated the benefits of placing a telescope at high altitude. In 1856, he set up temporary observatories on the mountains of Tenerife in the Canary Isles. These mountaintop sites provided stable air conditions unlike the turbulent atmosphere found at lower altitude that distorted astronomer's view of the sky. Today, the world's largest telescopes are located at special mountain sites as they offer superior observing condition than at sea level.
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- natural sciences
- physical sciences
- Warner & Swasey Co
- Permanent collection
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