Yerkes Observatory

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Yerkes Observatory,

astronomical observatoryobservatory,
scientific facility especially equipped to detect and record naturally occurring scientific phenomena. Although geological and meteorological observatories exist, the term is generally applied to astronomical observatories.
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 located in Williams Bay, Wis., on the shore of Lake Geneva. It was founded in 1892 with funds provided by Charles T. YerkesYerkes, Charles Tyson
, 1837–1905, American financier, b. Philadelphia. He began his business career as a clerk in a Philadelphia grain commission house. He became a broker in 1858 and prospered, but in 1871 he was convicted of misappropriating city funds and was
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 and its first director was George E. HaleHale, George Ellery,
1868–1938, American astronomer, b. Chicago, grad. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1890. He founded and directed three great observatories (Yerkes, Mt.
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. The observatory is administered by the Univ. of Chicago. The principal instrument is a 40-in. refracting telescopetelescope,
traditionally, a system of lenses, mirrors, or both, used to gather light from a distant object and form an image of it. Traditional optical telescopes, which are the subject of this article, also are used to magnify objects on earth and in astronomy; other types of
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, completed in 1897, the largest of its type in the world; its size is very near the practical limit for a refractor because of distortions caused by the weight of the lens itself. Other equipment includes a 41-in. and two 24-in. reflecting telescopes and a number of specialized instruments. Principal programs include astrometry, and studies of comets, galaxies, and the interstellar medium.

Yerkes Observatory


a scientific institution of the Uni-versity of Chicago (USA). It was organized in 1892–97, 22 kmfrom Chicago. Its instruments include a 102-cm (40-in.) refrac-tor (the largest in the world, constructed by A. G. Clark andpaid for by C. Yerkes), a 30-cm (12-in.) double refractor, afour-camera astrograph (largest objectives, 25 and 16 cm) witha 13-cm (5-in.) visual refractor, 102-cm (40-in.) and 60-cm(24-in.) reflectors, a Schmidt camera, and a 15-cm (6-in.) comet-finder. Work is conducted at the observatory on solar research, the determination of stellar parallaxes and radial velocities, thestudy of double stars, stellar polarization, stellar photometry, and the photographing of stars and planets. Yerkes Observatoryissues Publications (since 1900).

References in periodicals archive ?
30) That same day Edward Emerson Barnard (1857-1923) had the 40-inch (1m) Yerkes refractor pointing at Saturn.
More telling still the reputable American observer Edward Emerson Barnard (1857-1923) examined Saturn and its ring system with the 40-inch Yerkes refractor at Williams Bay, Wisconsin, on the evening of 1909 January 12.
In effect this implies the Yerkes refractor was ill-suited to show a dim feature in close proximity to the bright rings.