What's where at Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton

Under Construction!

Instruments on Mt. Hamilton

Here is a list of many instruments which have had sites on Mt. Hamilton.
Burnham's 6-inch refracting telescope
In 1879 August-October S. W. Burnham brought his personal telescope to Mt. Hamilton to determine the quality of seeing. He observed numerous double stars. The site was presumably somewhere on Observatory Peak, but this was before it was leveled. [PLO I, 13 (1887)] D. E. Osterbrock reports that this telescope remained in Chicago during the 1880s interval that Burnham worked at Lick and that it ended up at the University of Wisconsin.
4-inch Fauth Transit and Zenith Telescope
This was first mounted in the Transit House in 1881. The objective was 4.1 inches in diameter. Holden specified that this instrument represented the position of Lick Observatory. [PLO I, 68 (1887)] Early annual reports indicate that it was in use for the Mt. Hamilton timeservice in the early 1890s even though its declination scales were damaged. When the new Photographic Laboratory and Plate Archive was built (1907-1909) it would have severely obstructed the view of the Fauth Transit. [MLSA] When Lick participated in la Premiere Operation Internationale des Longitudes in 1926 a new transit was installed for that purpose. [2aOIL] Klemola found evidence to suggest that it was sent to UC Berkeley campus by the 1940s and used for classroom instruction. [Klemola (1989)] Altogether this evidence suggests that the Fauth Transit had fallen into disuse by or shortly after the turn of the century. The Meridian Circle had presumably assumed its timeservice tasks.
4-inch cometseeker
Used to observe the transit of Mercury in 1881. [PLO I, 44 & 67 (1887)] ``About 50 years ago it was mounted at the 36-inch Crossley reflector as its finder telescope, where it is still found today.'' [Klemola (1989)]
Installed in 1881 and used to observe the transit of Mercury that same year. Because it was located due south of the Fauth Transit its heliostat was used as a collimator. [PLO I, 67 (1887)] Also used to photograph the 1882 transit of Venus. [PLO I, 50 (1887)] Its site was obliterated by the new Photographic Laboratory and Plate Archive building constructed in 1907-1909.
12-inch refractor
The objective was originally used in Henry Draper's observatory, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY until 1879. [PLO I, 62 (1887)] It was mounted in the small dome in 1881 October, and Burnham used it to make observations of double stars starting in 1881 November. [PLO I, 45 (1887)] It was removed from the small dome in 1979 and replaced by the Anna Nickel 40-inch reflector. [J. Osborne, Sky & Telescope 60, 97 (1980)]
6.5-inch Clark Repsold Meridian Circle
This instrument was mounted in the Meridian Circle House in 1884. Some references give its objective as 6.4 inches. There were two other identical objectives intended for use as its north and south collimators. [PLO I, 38 & 68 (1887)] Beginning in 1893 Tucker devoted most of his professional career to observations with the Meridian Circle eventually producing a history of observations spanning over 30 years. [Tucker, PLO IV (1900)] [PLO XV, 13 (1925)] From approximately 1900 onwards it appears that the Meridian Circle had become the standard location for the published latitude of Lick Obsevatory, displacing the Fauth from that honor. [AENA 1900+] One of the final uses of the instrument appears to have been during the campaign to determine the parallax of Eros during its 1931 flyby. During the first and second International Campaigns of Longitude in 1926 and 1933 the Merdian Circle also served as the standard location for the longitude of Lick Observatory. [BIH, 2aOIL 7, 673 (1941)] Klemola wrote that it was dismantled about 1956 just before the Meridian Circle House was demolished to make way for the new northeast wing of the Main Building. It was then loaned to La Plata Observing Station in Rio Gallegos of southern Patagonia where it was mounted about 1960 and used for a few more years.
6.5-inch Clark refractor
Three identical objectives were ordered for the Meridian Circle; the extra ones were to serve as the north and south collimators. The north collimator was installed permanently in its mount, but the south collimator could be removed and fitted onto a portable equatorial telescope. [PLO I, 65 (1887)] Early in the history of Lick this equatorial telescope had a dome of its own where it was situated when not on expeditions. [HBLO 44-46 (1888)] This dome was on Observatory Peak south of the Meridian Circle House.
36-inch Lick refractor
Little need be said here about this instrument. It was the instrument that James Lick's trust was created to build. It became operational in 1888.
USC&GS Transits
In 1888 C.H. Sinclair of the USC&GS operated a station with two transits. One was for latitude and one was for longitude. This was in an attempt to determine the astronomical position of Mt. Hamilton. [USC&GS Bull. 13 (1899)] [Schott, USC&GS Special Pub. 4, 833 & 836 (1900)] [S. Beall?, USC&GS Special Pub. 110, 145 (1925)]
6.5-inch Brashear cometseeker
The only reference for this instrument is a letter of inquiry from Marie Lukac of USNO which asks about the status of the instrument. Note that Brashear was involved in the optics for several early Lick instruments including the refiguring of the Willard lens of the Crocker telescope. Nonetheless, this does not match the aperture of any of the lenses used to photograph Comet Halley in 1910.
Crocker telescope
This telescope was constructed using the 6-inch Willard lens originally in use by a commercial photographer in San Francisco. The Willard lens was refigured by Brashear. [PASP 2, 128 (1890)] Starting with observations in 1892 the photographic results of this instrument fill the entire content of one volume. [E.E. Barnard, PLO XI (1913)] During the 1910 apparation of Comet Halley many different small lenses were used -- first at the Crocker telescope and later upon the Crossley. [Curtis, PASP 22, 117 (1910)] [N. Bobrovnikoff, PLO 17 (1931)]
18-inch Schaeberle reflector
Schaeberle was a member of the Observatory staff from 18?? and acting Director 1897-1898. This telescope was his personal property. He presumably took it with him when he left the mountain in 1898 after Keeler replaced him as Director. [DEO]
36-inch Crossley reflector
The history of the Crossley family and this instrument before it came to Mt. Hamilton is documented in various sources. [PASP 7, 197 (1895)] [Southern Stars 24, 358 (1992)] [Southern Stars 24, 367 (1992)] It became operational on Mt. Hamilton in 1896 June. [Ap. J. 11, 325 (1900)] [PASP 12, 146 (1900)] [PLO VIII, 11 (1908)] [R.P. Stone, S&T 58, 307 & 396 (1979 Oct & Nov)]
Bruce Camera
[or was this a spectroscope?]
Bamberg Transit
This transit was installed for the sole purpose of participation in the first and second international campaigns of longitude in 1926 and 1933. It was located just east of the Meridian Circle and the final measurement is corrected to that location. [BIH, 2aOIL 7, 673 (1941)] A hutch which matches that of similar instruments from other sites is probably visible in an aerial photograph from 1934. [PASP 47, 89 (1935)] [Pub USNO XII, 532]
20-inch Carnegie Double Astrograph
Located in the Astrograph Dome and in operation since 1941. It has been used to perform the Lick Northern Proper Motion Survey. Until 1964 only the ``blue'' objective was in place; at that time the astrograph became ``double'' with the addition of the ``yellow'' objective. [PASP 76, 14]
22-inch Tauchmann reflector
Tauchmann described his construction of this ``amateur'' telescope during the 1930s. [G.F. Tauchmann, PASP 48, 155 (1936)] This instrument sits atop the new water tank on Huyghens Peak. [G.E. Kron, PASP 72, 505 (1960)] ``It is still in use for non-research visitor/general public observing. It was put in service about 1955.'' [Klemola (1989)] The plans for this telescope are dated 1950, and it is depicted in a painting which has hung in the Lick Diner throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
120-inch Shane reflector
The mirror blank was a leftover from the test casting for the 200-inch Hale Telescope on Palomar Mountain. It was brought to Mt. Hamilton and figured in situ. The telescope became operational in 1959.
Shane Coude Auxiliary Telescope
The CAT consists of a flat ceolostat below the south end of the Shane Coude room. It sends light up into the Shane dome where a series of relay optics, including a 1/5 scale model of the Shane, focus the light onto the Coude slit.
6-inch reflector
This position of this telescope appears in the 1984 Astronomical Almanac, and if not for that it would be unremarkable. It was a portable telescope brought to Mt. Hamilton by David W. Dunham to observe an occultation one night. The occultation summary sheet contains the position of the telescope as read from the USGS 7.5 minute topo for Lick Observatory. This summary sheet was sent to HMNAO, and later forwarded to USNO whence it entered into the almanac.
24-inch Photometric Telescope
This telescope appears to have been built between 1955 and 1961. It was a Boller and Chivens. In early 1995 it was dismantled and replaced by the KAIT.
8-inch f/1 Schmidt Camera
During the 1960s this instrument was loaned from Zwicky at Caltech as part of a supernova patrol.
Anna Nickel 40-inch Reflecting Telescope
This telescope was built entirely in the Lick shops in Santa Cruz. In 1979 it replaced the 12 inch refractor in the Small Dome of the Main Building. [J. Osborne, Sky & Telescope 60, 97 (1980)]
12.5-inch equatorial
This is reported to be a donated amateur instrument for which a concrete pad, pier, and wooden clamshell housing were built just southwest of the Shane Dome. Its mounting was used for the CCD Comet Camera.
CCD Comet Camera
This camera was originally in use during the 1985/86 apparition of Comet P/Halley. It consisted of a 135mm Nikon camera lens mounted ahead of a mechanical shutter on the front of a Lick CCD dewar, giving a roughly 6x4-degree field of view (40-arcsec pixels). Filters were mounted in the front of the lens. Its purpose was to search for transient large-scale features in the comet's tail and provide instantaneous +/-10-arcsec astrometry to be used to acquire the features with the Shane telescope for spectroscopy. It was originally mounted on the side of the 40-inch Anna Nickel Telescope, but later moved to an equatorial mounting from a 12.5-inch amateur telescope located on a Concrete Pad SW of the Shane Dome and housed in a wooden clamshell enclosure (which came to be known as the "Outhouse"). CCD readout was accomplished by running coaxial cables into the Shane dome where computers reduced the images and performed astrometric calibrations. The camera project was conceived by George Herbig and Burton Jones, and operated by Richard Pogge. The camera was reassembled in 1996 for the passage of Comet Hyakutake.
This is the Katzman Automated Imaging Telescope. It replaced the 24-inch photometric telescope in early 1995. It is a fully automated telescope which can be controlled via the internet. It will be used for a wide range of visual imaging projects including automated supernova searches.

Steve Allen <sla@ucolick.org>