Rooftop Telescope & Observatory -

10" Refractor Type Siderostat Telescope

The siderostat telescope permitted the public to view the night sky while remaining warm and dry, and the tracking mirror took the worry out of moving the telescope to view celestial objects. Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and the moon were popular nighttime objects, and sunspot images were safely projected during the day. (Although the telescope was mentioned at the dedication, it was not purchased and installed until 1941.) The purchase price of the telescope was $ 30,000 and the dedication was held on the evening of November 19, 1941. The object viewed that Wednesday evening was the planet Saturn.

The telescope was also utilized for a lunar mapping project headed by Francis Graham, an associate professor of physics at Kent State and the principal founder of the Tripoli Rocketry Association. (Mr. Graham's name can be seen at the Wall of Fame within the Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.)

The telescope was restored in 1985 to provide the optimum viewing experience of Halley's Comet for the public. There was no fee to view this amazing cosmic event. Thousands of people stood in line for hours to see the comet.

The telescope now sits in the dark, educating and exciting no-one. The telescope could easily be put back into action today. However, there are "experts" propagating disinformation regarding the usefulness of this instrument. A number of links are included at the bottom of this page to dispel the notion that Buhl's 10 inch Siderostat Telescope (the largest one of it's kind in the world installed for public use) has seen it's day, and is no longer of value. Perhaps a visit to these links will demonstrate the value of Buhl's "old" telescope.

Using Buhl's rooftop 10" Siderostat Telescope, this lunar photo was taken by Professor Francis Graham.

Why is the Buhl staff demonstrating the Siderstat during the day?
Because a 3 foot diameter image of the sun is being safely projected from the telescope onto a viewing screen.

Check out these links to other amazing vintage telescopes . . .

Here are three "OLD" telescopes (1912, 1906 and 1861) that are still educating, and exploring beyond our solar system... and they're right here in Pittsburgh!!

A global sample of highly functional telescopes (that one might consider "OLD") can be found here Antique Telescope Society
Click on [LINKS TO THE PAST] on the left side of thier page.

Here is a famous Pittsburgh telescope (the Brashear 11'' refractor) that could have been mistaken for junk... but was restored for $1,000 and is now a functioning masterpiece.
Click on [FACILITIES] on thier page to learn more.

The links included in this site are supplied for reference and educational purposes only. The inclusion of those links within this site does not necessarily imply or construe an association with or an endorsement of the content material contained within this website.

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