The Optics, the Mounting, the Refractor

Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 398)


This chapter describes the stages in the manufacture of optical glass. The fabrication of the huge lenses for the double telescope, for both its visual and photographic objectives, is described. The Grande Lunette with its 83 cm objective remains to this day the largest refracting telescope in Europe and the third largest in the world. The equatorial mounting of the telescope, its tube and driving mechanism are also described.


Lead Silicate Glass Block Declination Angle Large Lens Flint Glass 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    A. Couder and A. Danjon, Lunettes et Télescopes, Éditions de la Revue d’Optique, Paris, 1935.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    P. Véron, Histoire du verre d’optique (a paraitre), Bernard Lyot exhibition “La verrerie au service de l’astronomie”, Le Vésinet, 1997 November 13–23.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    P. Véron, Histoire du verre d’optique (a paraitre), Bernard Lyot exhibition “La verrerie au service de l’astronomie”, Le Vésinet, 1997 November 13–23.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    A. Clark and E. Mantois, “Les grands instruments de l’avenir”, l’Astronomie, 8, 13–31 (1894).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    After training as opticians, the two brothers Paul Henry (1848–1905) and Prosper Henry (1849–1905) had started at the Paris Observatory, both aged 16. Coming to be astronomers’ assistants at the same time in 1868, then to the post of astronome adjoint (deputy astronomer) in 1876, being relentless observers, they had set up a private observatory at Neuilly. Between 1872 and 1882, they had 14 asteroid discoveries and one comet discovery to their names. Pioneers in the employment of photography, they discovered the nebulosity around the stars of the Pleiades in 1885. See J. Fort, “Opticines et astronomes: les frères Henry”, Société Astronomique de France, Observations et Travaux, No. 46 (1996).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    R. Mailhat, “Sur les objectifs astronomiques”, l’Astronomie, 8, 123–126 (1894).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    B. Lyot, Recherches sur la polarisation de la lumière des planètes et de quelques substances terrestres, Thesis, Faculty of Sciences, Paris University, 1929, also published in Les Annales de l’Observatoire d’astronomie physique de Paris, sis à Meudon, 8, part 1 (1929).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    All the observational logbooks of Fernand Baldet and Charles Bertaud for the Grande Lunette and the equatorial table are preserved in the archives of the Observatory.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Meudon Observatory Archives (Paris Observatory Library, D-216).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Meudon Observatory Archives (Paris Observatory Library, D-216).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    P. Muller, “La rénovation de la grande coupole de Meudon”, l’Astronomie, 78, 397–407 (1964), and P. Muller, “La grande coupole de Meudon”, Annales du Bureau des Longitudes pour 1966.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    J. Janssen, Oeuvres scientifiques, collected and published by Henri Dehérain, Éditions géographiques, maritimes et colonials, Paris, volume 1 (1929) and volume 2 (1930).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Meudon Observatory Archives (Paris Observatory Library), and French National Archives, F17 3745 and 3750.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    In 1927, a sagging was noticed in the pylon carrying the upper landing, which brought the polar axis to scrape upon a particular spot. Two braces were added, on either side of the pylon, of whose effectiveness Fernand Baldet knew. See the observational notebooks of Fernand Baldet, preserved in the observatory’s archives.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ParisFrance

Personalised recommendations