George Ellery Hale, American astronomer, 1918.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph taken in the Western Galleries of the Science Musem, London, showing Hale standing next to the 6 foot mirror of the Great Rose Telescope. As an astronomer, George Ellery Hale (1868-1938) is best known for his work relating to sunspots. As an undergraduate, he invented the spectroheliograph, a fundamental tool of solar astronomy. Today, Hale is best remembered for his efforts in advancing the building of the world's largest telescopes. Between 1906 and his death in 1938, He was responsible for the construction of reflecting telescopes using mirrors 60, 100, and finally, 200 inches in diameter. These telescopes became the workhorses of the Mount Wilson observatory near Los Angeles and the Palomar Observatory in California.