National Geographic : 1939 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE probe secrets of the mighty star around which we circle like moths around a flame.* 200-INCH EYE TO PENETRATE UN SEEN DEPTHS OF THE UNIVERSE Most impor tant of all, the giant new "eye" of the 200-inch telescope on Mount Palomar, California, is ex pected in 1940 or soon after to take its first look out into dark reaches of the Universe which up to now have been en tirely unexplored. With a mirror more than 16 feet in diameter, this telescope is ex pected to pene trate so far out into space that it will photograph objects whose light, traveling 186,000 miles a second, takes a Photograph courtesy Pan American Airways billion years to STARS HELP GUIDE THE HUGE YANKEE CLIPPER" reach us (p. 3). The 100-inch The navigating officer of the transatlantic flying boat takes a sight at the stars te1escope at to check the course. A special glass-enclosed turret is built into the ship's wing Mout Wilson so that the Sun or stars can be observed. The officer is using a bubble sextant, Mount Wilson in which a spirit level provides an artificial horizon. Observatory, Cal ifornia, at present troublesome "magnetic storms" will rage the world's largest, already has almost less often, and fewer northern lights will reached the limit to which it can penetrate be seen.* into space, though its usefulness will never Hermes, the little asteroid that came so be ended. With it astronomers already have close to Earth in 1937, is expected to swing partially explored a section of the Universe toward us again early in 1940, though at shaped like an enormous hollow sphere, a safe distance, renewing interest in what about six sextillion miles across. would happen if such a body should collide But measuring the giant Universe in with the Earth. On October 1, 1940, there miles is like measuring the United States will be another total eclipse of the Sun, in trillionths of an inch! It is more con visible in parts of South America and South *See "Nature's Most Dramatic Spectacle," by Africa, providing one more rare chance to A Mot "al i Setal, *See~~~~~~ ~ ~~ ATh MytrMfAuoaiATOA eetce," bynJ F.clHeleg idntes Iona *See "The Mystery of Auroras," NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, May, 1939. Desert Isle," by J. F. Hellweg, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE for September, 1937.