One of two photographs mounted in a passe-partout frame showing the Lick Observatory at Mount Hamilton, California during winter.
Winter view showing the early appearance of the Lick observatory on Mount Hamilton in California. At an altitude of 4,250 ft, it was the first permanent mountaintop observatory to be established when completed in 1888. The astronomer Charles Piazzi Smyth, first scientifically demonstrated the benefits of placing a telescope at high altitude. In 1856, he set up temporary observatories on the mountains of Tenerife in the Canary Isles. These mountaintop sites provided stable air conditions unlike the turbulent atmosphere found at lower altitude that distorted astronomer's view of the sky. Today, the world's largest telescopes are located at special mountain sites as they offer superior observing condition than at sea level.
- Object Number:
- natural sciences
- physical sciences
- Warner & Swasey Co
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.