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New U Observatory To Be Stream-Lined Building

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New U Observatory To Be Stream-Lined Building

By R. Ray Baker

Blueprints have been completed, with necessary revisions, and all is ready to begin erecting a new branch observatory for the University of Michigan's department of astronomy in the Portage Lake region, 15 miles west of Ann Arbor.

A plaster model shows a streamlined building, with a telescope dome 28 feet in diameter and with an over-all height of 41 feet from the ground. The observatory building will contain a garage in the basement, as well as housing the new Schmidt type reflecting telescope in the dome.

A separate building will provide office and storage space, as well as some equipment needed in photographic studies of the heavenly bodies. This telescope, with a 36-inch spherical mirror, will be able to reach far into space to study distant stars and whole star systems, by means of spectroscopic observations. Extremely small planets, as well as comets, also will be subjected to intensive study with the new 14-foot telescope and accessory equipment.

This new observatory, long needed by the University, was made possible finally by a recent gift of $100,000 from McGregor Fund of Detroit. It provides a total of $260,000 for the project, as the regents in 1947 appropriated $160,000.

The architects are Colvin & Heller of Ann Arbor.

NEW MICHIGAN OSERVATORY: A plaster model shows how the new University of Michigan branch observatory will look when completed next year on Prospect Hill, in the Portage Lake region west of Ann Arbor. Another building, nearby, will contain offices, equipment and storage rooms.