This filar micrometer is from 1897. It was used on the 40-inch refractor by E.E. Barnard and G. van Biesbroek to study the small separations between double and binary stars. Binary stars orbit each other, so the separation between the two stars as it appears to us changes in time. By making careful observations of the separation, the mass of the two stars can be determined.
This spectrograph was used by W.W. Morgan from 1937-1957. Spectrographs break up light like a prism. The structure of our own Galaxy, the Milky Way, was first determined with this instrument in 1951. The original map of stars concentrated within three spiral arms of the Milky Way Galaxy is visible behind the instrument.
These instruments are from only two of the significant research projects carried out at Yerkes; Yerkes has a long history of famous research.
When you come to the Observatory, other exhibits and lectures can teach you a little about astronomy -- the astronomy page included on this virtual tour is a very brief overview.
Go back to Inside Yerkes.
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