The Cutting Edge Since 1888

Uploaded by UCofficeofpresident on 24.09.2012

I used to come up here as an amateur. So, I had a small telescope that I made and I
kind of played hide-and-seek with the sheriff that used to work up here. I wasn’t really
part of the observatory so I kinda learned how to just hide from him and I had a secret
spot where I kept my telescope that he never found.
I just knew that somehow this place was gonna be a part of my life. It’s the world’s
mountaintop observatory and 1888 roughly was when it was finished. This was back before
they could, you know, weld big pieces of things together so all this stuff is put together
with rivets as you can see; the dome, telescope, it’s all riveted pieces brought up here
on mule train.
The level of craftsmanship here is -- is like something we don’t see anymore. It’s really
quite impressive. When it’s dark these are lit up and we can watch these circles turn
and -- and push it until we get it right to the place where we want.
Saturn through this telescope is pretty amazing to the eye. When you look at Saturn through
the eye and you see that ball out there with a ring around it just floating out in space
it becomes very real. Looking at that without any CCD camera or anything between you and
the image, just you and your retina, that’s, uh, that’s quite an experience.
We’re trying to keep this as a real heritage piece. It’s quite an amazing jewel. So,
this is all part of UC investing in a science and astronomy and this was at the cutting
edge back in 1888 and then as the decades go by, we develop new technologies so we can
stay right at that cutting edge.
My name is Steve Vogt. I’m a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University
of California at Santa Cruz. Only job I ever had but why would you wanna work anywhere