Science: Made to Order

A massive telescopic camera specially designed for photographing meteors was shipped last week to Harvard's meteor station near Las Cruces, N.Mex. Weighing 5,000 Ibs. and mounted on an odd, horseshoe yoke, it looks like nothing else on earth. The outer lens, 18 in. in diameter, is as convex as a fishbowl. Inside are other lenses, one of them also bowl-shaped, and a 23-in. concave mirror. The film is placed between the lenses and sucked by a vacuum against the curved surface.

This weird optical system enables the camera to cover a 52° field, taking...

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!