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John

The Clark 24 inch Refractor Restoration

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Later this year I am planning to visit northern Arizona and I'm intending to include a visit to the Lowell Observatory at Flagstaff. While planning this trip I came across this movie about the fairly recent project to restore the famous 24 inch Clark refractor which I found fascinating:

Our trip will also hopefully include a trip to visit the equally famous Meteor Crater in the same state.

Two locations that I've dreamed of visiting for many years - frankly, I can hardly wait :grin:

 

691750501_metcrater.jpg.90e9b3baa9bde8f4538425b961344bde.jpg

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That was so good! what a treasure really, to let an instrument like that degrade would be a true crime, the finished scope is a marvel to behold.

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You will be impressed, been a few decades for me but a trip I might even make again at some point.

Yerkes is only now open through Sept 29 of 2019 and it's future is uncertain, your chance to see the 40 may be on that Clark visit...I will be traveling to Williams Bay this summer because I'm afraid it may be my last visit to Yerkes, Chicago developers are increasingly becoming more and more interested in the property and the weight of their offers may at some point sway the university.

        Best of Luck John...

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The eyepiece end is so deliciously steampunk it hurts to look at it and not be able to touch it. 😍  I want a giant refractor now! 🤩

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8 minutes ago, Louis D said:

The eyepiece end is so deliciously steampunk it hurts to look at it and not be able to touch it. 😍  I want a giant refractor now! 🤩

You got that right with Steampunk, speaking of, have a lookee at these beauties. You can buy fully working high end optics models in custom finishes, except the large black one, that looks like someone’s personal restore project,NOT CHEAP!! but one day I’ll have one.

6CF39C00-D3F7-4CE1-A4E0-8D1977BD6765.jpeg

204540E6-0933-4197-96A6-405DC6C15DEE.jpeg

9E29239A-6DE5-4D3E-932B-F3BF70C5F370.jpeg

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2 hours ago, John said:

Our trip will also hopefully include a trip to visit the equally famous Meteor Crater in the same state.

Two locations that I've dreamed of visiting for many years - frankly, I can hardly wait :grin:

 

691750501_metcrater.jpg.90e9b3baa9bde8f4538425b961344bde.jpg

Meteor Crater is a very cool place to visit.  I made it there in 2004 with the family.  While in the area, make sure to check out Petrified Forest/Painted Desert National Park which is just a little over an hour's drive to the east on I-40.  The petrified logs are really neat and the painted desert part is strikingly beautiful:

P7210091.thumb.jpg.9c41574100fffa1001e8770e51ede8aa.jpgP7210084.thumb.JPG.ab9b944e18981da7ea58f7fc2f4694c2.JPG

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Millions of years of geological history just jumping out of those hills, beautiful to see.

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That thing is off the scale cool. That lens - imagine how you’d feel if you dropped it!

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I enjoyed the video, what a wonderful job all concerned made of the renovation.
As @dannybgoode wrote above, when I was watching the team working on the lens it crossed my mind, "don't let it slip".
Enjoy your trip John.

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13 hours ago, Sunshine said:

You got that right with Steampunk, speaking of, have a lookee at these beauties. You can buy fully working high end optics models in custom finishes, except the large black one, that looks like someone’s personal restore project,NOT CHEAP!! but one day I’ll have one.

6CF39C00-D3F7-4CE1-A4E0-8D1977BD6765.jpeg

204540E6-0933-4197-96A6-405DC6C15DEE.jpeg

9E29239A-6DE5-4D3E-932B-F3BF70C5F370.jpeg

The first 2 photos are of scopes constructed by Moonraker Telescopes in the UK:

http://moonrakertelescopes.co.uk/index.html

The 3rd scope was constructed by Tim Wetherell when he was based in Australia. I had the pleasure of meeting him last year when he spoke at my astro society. Here is the story of Tim's great refractor:

http://www.wetherellart.co.uk/pages/astronomy_bigrefractor.html

It really is a fanatastic piece of work :icon_biggrin:

 

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What is the observational status of America's classic big refractors these days? Are they used for the benefit of advanced amateurs, as I understand is the case for the Mount Wilson 100-inch reflector?

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Have a great trip, you will really enjoy it. We did a similar trip in 2009.

Here's a couple of images taken ,

1) Flagstaff (my son at the business end of the telescope)

2) Meteor crater (you will need a wide angle lens)

IMG_2786.JPG

Meteor Crater.jpg

Edited by Debo
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12 hours ago, Merlin said:

What is the observational status of America's classic big refractors these days? Are they used for the benefit of advanced amateurs, as I understand is the case for the Mount Wilson 100-inch reflector?

A good question, really an amalgamation of private university and privately owned companies were public or state collages are then another entity, as in the case of Yerkes  for example hands may be changed and we loose these treasures publicly and their operations and upkeep remain unknown to us. Would be neat to track them all down and read a little into the question, there are also several note worthy smaller refractors that could make the list too.

https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmXoypizjW3WknFiJnKLwHCnL72vedxjQkDDP1mXWo6uco/wiki/List_of_largest_optical_refracting_telescopes.html

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Terrific restoration project of an important piece of history. Thanks for posting the video, it was great to watch.

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I wonder if Valery could make a custom Chromacorr for it?

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17 hours ago, Louis D said:

I wonder if Valery could make a custom Chromacorr for it?

Or Roland at AP. He did produce a couple of correctors along similar lines in the past. Istar were planning one as well but it's yet to appear.

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what a lovely old lady, its good to see shes fit as a fiddle again. classy glass. thanks for posting John i loved every sec of the vid. charl.

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Sounds like a great trip. Are you going to restart the meteorite collection?

Paul

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5 minutes ago, Paul73 said:

Sounds like a great trip. Are you going to restart the meteorite collection?

Paul

Probably not Paul - I get tempted now and then but I've so far resisted :smiley:

I did used to have a nice chunk of Canyon Diablo (the one that created the Meteor Crater) but that went when I disposed of my last collection of specimens.

 

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Thanks for posting John, a wonderful opportunity to get a close- up view of the individual components. So glad the cosmetic refurbishment was done so tastefully, so often the modern style tends towards the garish.   😀

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These old telescopes could form the basis of a good book. Where are they now, restorations, discoveries made etc. Or, has anyone already written one?

Paul

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What a great video, John - thanks for sharing. Have to say I was quite surprised how casual they seemed about lens cleaning, particularly compared to how terrified I am whenever I clean a mirror. Maybe I needn’t worry so much!

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Thanks for  sharing the video John . Great to see.

By coincidence I will be visiting that Area in August of this year, staying in Sedona for two nights.

Edited by Saganite
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14 hours ago, FenlandPaul said:

What a great video, John - thanks for sharing. Have to say I was quite surprised how casual they seemed about lens cleaning, particularly compared to how terrified I am whenever I clean a mirror. Maybe I needn’t worry so much!

The lenses would not have been coated at that period so not so potentially sensitive. I was surprised how clean they appeared to be before cleaning.   🙂

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What a magnificent telescope.   Thanks for sharing.

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