Science: Trouble on Palomar

The 200-inch Hale telescope on Palomar Mountain is ailing. Installed last January, it has thus far taken no scientifically valuable photographs of the stars. Dr. Ira S. Bowen, director of the observatory, announced this week that it might not be in working order until next fall.

The telescope's most serious trouble is a "bulge" in the massive mirror. The outer edge, 18 inches inward from the rim, is 20 millionths of an inch too high. This infinitesimal error, observable only by the most refined tests, is enough to make the telescope useless for serious astronomical purposes. Until it is removed or corrected,...

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