Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 83.djvu/124

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PSM V83 D124 Head of the seventy five foot spectrograph.png

Fig. 14. Head of the 75-foot Spectrograph of the 150-foot Tower Telescope.

this is successful, it will not only show beyond doubt whether the sun is a magnet: it will also permit the polarity of the sun to be compared with that of the earth, give a measure of the strength of the field at different latitudes, and indicate the sign of the charge that a rotating sphere must possess if it is to produce a similar field.

I first endeavored to apply this test with the 60-foot tower telescope in 1908, but the results were too uncertain to command confidence.

Thanks to additional appropriations from the Carnegie Institution of Washington, a new and powerful instrument was available on Mount Wilson for a continuation of the investigation in January, 1912. The new tower telescope has a focal length of 150 feet (Fig. 13). To prevent vibration in the wind, the cœlostat, second mirror and object-glass are carried by a skeleton tower, each vertical and diagonal member of which is enclosed within the corresponding member of an outer skeleton tower, which also carries a dome to shield the instruments from the weather. In the photograph, we see only the hollow members of the outer tower. But within each of them, well separated from possible contact, a sectional view would show the similar, but more slender members of the tower that supports the instruments. The plan has proved to be successful, permitting observations demanding the greatest steadiness of the solar image to be made.

The arrangements are similar to those of the 60-foot tower. The solar image, 161/2inches in diameter, falls on the slit of a spectrograph