Today in Smithsonian History: September 29, 1970

Long view of road winding along ridge

A winding, single-lane, dirt road 18 miles long connects the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s Whipple Observatory atop Mount Hopkins in Arizona with the outside world. In 1984, a 1.5-mile section of the road at the very top, between the 8,550-foot summit and the 7,600-foot ridge was paved. (Photo by Dane Penland, as featured in the Torch, January 1985)

September 29, 1970 The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory officially dedicates its new Tillinghast Reflector to the memory of the late Carlton W. Tillinghast, Jr., an early administrator of SAO. Today, the telescope is still in use in conjunction with the high-throughput fiber-fed  Tillinghast Reflector Echelle Spectrograph. The reflector is housed at the Mount Hopkins Observatory (now known as the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory), in southern Arizona.

Large spectrograph

The Tillinghast Reflector Echelle Spectograph. As of April 2014, 7 weights are mounted on each stem, rather than the five shown here. (Image courtesy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Archives

Posted: 29 September 2017
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