Tag Archives: mirror

Stuff That Weighs More Than Me: Wilson Observatory 100-Inch Hooker Telescope

On a recent, beautiful, sunny, California day my husband and I snaked our way 5,710 feet up the steep and winding roads to Mt. Wilson Observatory.  We took the 2 hour walking tour.  The site was amazing and full of scientific wonders.  And naturally, it contained more than a few things that weighed more than me.  For the purposes of this blog post, we’ll talk about the 100-inch telescope called the Hooker telescope.  This bad boy was the largest telescope in the world from ts completion in 1917 until the 200-inch Hale telescope at Palomar Observatory was built in 1948.

Before Hale even finished work on the 60-inch Hale Telescope at Wilson Observatory, and before he even knew for sure that the technique pioneered on the 60-inch telescope would work, Hale began on the 100-inch Hooker telescope.  The lens was formed based on a blank containing over two tons of fused glass which was melted in a furnace into one piece.  Once melted, the lens took over 1 year to cool without cracking.  In fact from pour to final polish, the lens took over 5 years to complete.


I look into the newly installed eyepiece for the 100-inch telescope at Wilson Observatory.

The telescope is floated on mercury to make it easier for the over 30 attached motors to move it into place.  In the photo above, you can see me looking through the newly installed eyepiece which allows overnight guests to get together in viewing parties and observe the universe (which weighs even MORE than me).


Here’s the stats:

Mirror diameter: 100 inches

Mirror weight: 9,000  lbs.

Turning telescope (which floats on mercury) 87 tons

Rotating Dome (placed over the telescope) Diameter: 100 ft.  Weight:  500 tons

Clock Mechanism:  Falling weight–2 tons, bronze parts–1,000 lbs.  Iron parts–3,000 lbs.

Total Telescope Weight: over 650 tons

Conclusion the 100-inch Hooker Telescope at Wilson Observatory weighs more than me.

Love, Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

The 60-inch Hale telescope and the 100-inch Hooker telescope seen from the air.

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The unparalelled power of owning your beauty

Today I was privileged to read this powerful post from a woman speaking about how she chose to call herself beautiful in front of her daughters.  She understands the power of claiming, unconditionally, that she is beautiful in front of her kids.  She spoke of how it must have seemed confusing for her young offspring in the past, when they thought her beautiful, but she negated that reality.

She says:

How confusing it must have been to have me say to them, “You think I am beautiful, but you are wrong. You are small and you love me, so you’re not smart enough to know how unattractive I am. I know I am ugly because I see myself with mean eyes. You are my child and I love you, but I will not allow myself to be pretty, for you.

What a profound thing this is.–to understand the power we gain not only for ourselves, but also for all who love us, when we claim our power to be beautiful.  When we cast false modesty aside and inhabit our glorious, gorgeous selves we do more than make ourselves feel better.  We also create space for others to feel beautiful.  We wrest control from media outlets and glossy glamour magazines, over the definition of fabulous.  We teach our children that beauty comes in an unending variety of sizes, shapes, colors and types.  We cast aside the fear that we will never again be worthy of adoration–that we will never again be enough to make someone gasp at our audacity and amazing selves.  And we prevent that fear from tainting the lives of our children.  We own the definition of ravishing and rapturous and we choose to apply it to ourselves.  And once we’ve applied those labels to ourselves, who would dare, WHO WOULD DARE take it from  us?

I find this concept endlessly exciting.  The notion that claiming our power encourages other women to do the same.  And that making acceptance of ourselves unconditional before our children, we teach them to love themselves forever, rather than for the short time they are young, thin, unblemished, untarnished and inexperienced.  What a spectacular and lasting legacy!

So my dear friends.  What would happen for you if you cast off the need to be modest and demure?  How profound is the impact of accepting yourself unconditionally and forever, just as you are?  And just how large is the gift to those who come behind, when you model this calm, confident and peaceful contentment on a day to day basis?

Love thyself, and change the world!


The Fat Chick