The National Mall in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Become an astronomer with your visit to the Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory and its Cook Memorial Telescope. Harvard University purchased the telescope from Boller & Chivens in 1966 for its Oak Ridge Observatory. The telescope was used to train students and to teach the public. In 1969 it was dedicated to Chester Sheldon Cook, a friend of the Oak Ridge Observatory.
During the International Year of Astronomy in 2009, Harvard loaned the telescope to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The Museum's goal was to "bring a telescope to the people." The telescope was so popular that Harvard gave it to the Smithsonian.
During daylight hours, the telescope may be pointed at Venus. Smaller telescopes attached to it allow safe views of the Sun. During evening hours, it is often used to observe planets, double stars, and nebulae.
Inside the Observatory
Visitors can safely observe the Sun at the Public Observatory using a "Sun Gun" attached to the 4-inch finderscope.
Viewing the Sun:
The Cook Memorial Telescope's finderscope is often used with a "Sun Gun" to project a white light image of the Sun. This unfiltered but safe view of the Sun's surface, including any visible sunspots and darkening at the edge.
The telescope is named
Pencil sketch by M. Gagan, 2/5/50; courtesy of Anna Sudarich Hillier; historian of the Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston.
←The historic 16-inch reflecting telescope inside the Public Observatory.
How to Learn More:
Erected by National Air and Space Museum.
Location. 38° 53.274′ N, 77° 1.114′ W. Marker is in The National Mall, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker can be reached from Independence Avenue Southwest west of 4th Street SW, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. On the grounds of the National Air and Space Museum on the side of the Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20024, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sun (here, next to this marker); Phoebe Waterman Haas (here, next to this marker); Venus (here, next to this marker); Saturn (here, next to this marker); Moon (here, next to this marker); Star Nurseries (here, next to this marker); Jupiter (here, next to this marker); Binary Stars (here, next to this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in The National Mall.
Categories. • Air & Space • Education •
Credits. This page was last revised on December 15, 2017. This page originally submitted on December 12, 2017, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 70 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on December 12, 2017, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.