TEL11 Burrell Schmidt telescope

The 0.6-meter Burrell-Schmidt telescope: dome and dormitory. Photo courtesy of National Optical Astronomy Observatory/Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy/National Science Foundation.

Case Western Reserve University owns a 0.6-meter (24-inch) telescope, which has in the past mainly been used to study the distribution of stars in our Galaxy, with the aim of determining the structure and history of the Milky Way. There are many different kinds of stars, of many different ages. By determining the type and motion of stars in different regions of the Milky Way, astronomers can map the parts that are older and younger.

A major refurbishment was completed in 2002, and now the telescope is used for studying the type and distribution of galaxies in the Universe. Some fraction of its time is used by a consortium of small universities in the northeastern United States for the same purpose. Historically, this telescope helped to explore the Bootes Void - a region of the sky that is curiously lacking in galaxies. The distribution of voids and clusters of galaxies is called "large-scale structure" in the Universe, and is related to fluctuations in the density of matter right after the Big Bang.

There is a plaque with information about the telescope outside the dome, and the telescope itself is visible through a window in

the door. It was moved from the Nassau Astronomical Station (located about 30 miles east of Cleveland, Ohio) of the Warner and Swasey Observatory in June of 1979. This telescope is strikingly different in its structure from all other optical telescopes on the mountain, because of the thin correcting lens at the front (top) of the tube. This is what makes it a "Schmidt" telescope.

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