WHEN: Monday, April 22, 2013, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Steward Observatory Room N210
The Steward Observatory was officially dedicated on April 23, 1923. In order to celebrate the 90th Anniversary of this event and the birth of astronomy in southern Arizona, we have planned a very special Steward Public Evening Lecture on the eve of the anniversary.
Dr. Thomas A. Fleming will begin the evening with a presentation on the life of Prof. Andrew Ellicott Douglass, the founder of Steward Observatory, the gift of Mrs. Lavinia Steward, which made the observatory possible, and key events in the 90-year history of the observatory. The presentation will include images from the early days of Steward and recently-digitized videos taken from 16-mm film shot by Douglass himself that has not been shown in public for over 50 years.
Next on the program, Prof. Laird Close will discuss the legacy of Alvan Clark, perhaps the finest telescope maker of the 19th Century. Specifically, Dr. Close will talk about the 5-inch Alvan Clark refractor, constructed in 1888, that has served as the finder scope for the Steward 36-inch telescope since its construction in 1922. To mark the occasion, we have brought the 5-inch Clark refractor down from Kitt Peak and installed it in the James dome atop the south Steward building.
Finally, Professor Emeritus W. John Cocke will share his recollections of using the same 36-inch telescope (whose dedication we are celebrating) in 1969 to discover the optical pulsar in the Crab Nebula. This was arguably the first major astronomical discovery to bring international attention to Steward Observatory.At the conclusion of the lecture, the public will be free to observe the night sky through the Alvan Clark 5-inch refractor, as well as the Raymond E. White, Jr. 21-inch reflector. Birthday cake and punch will be served in the Main Lobby of the observatory.