It’s hard to do many types of astronomy in the daylight, so that can be a good time to do a different kind of observing — enjoying the architecture of the telescope! This new video shot by a drone shows off Yerkes Observatory in snowy Williams Bay, Wisconsin. The video was uploaded by Adam Novak.
Yerkes, which is operated by the University of Chicago, calls itself the “birthplace of modern astrophysics” because it combined astronomical observations with experimentation in physics and chemistry. That’s something that’s normal in astronomy today, but certainly not in 1897.
Observations began with a 40-inch refractor (billed as the biggest such telescope ever finished) that weighs about 20 tons. While the telescope itself is from the turn of the century, the means of moving it is much more modern — from about 50 years ago, according to a National Park Service book on the observatory:
The telescope was modernized in 1969 permitting more accurate and rapid setting of the position of the telescope. The efficiency of the telescope was further increased by the addition of an automatically guiding camera. The driving clock, by which the telescope is made to follow the stars, consists of a synchronous motor controlled by an electronic oscillator, the frequency of which can he set so as to make the telescope follow the sun, the moon, or stars.
You can learn more about Yerkes on the official website.