Science: First Look

Man's greatest and most farseeing eye opened for the first time this week—and saw nothing new. The great 200-in. telescope at Mt. Palomar, weighing 500 tons, swung as smooth as silk on its massive bearings. The astronomers, deliberately avoiding objects of great interest, pointed it at arbitrary spots in the sky, just trying it out. The telescope, they explained, needed a good bit of delicate adjustment before it was ready to take worthwhile pictures.

But it did take pictures of random stars; and the astronomers, though they kept their mouths shut, seemed more starry-eyed than usual after the big telescope's initial performance....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!