Friday, April 1, 2016

He Drew the Sun for 40 Years, But Now His Telescope Is Dying

MOST MORNINGS, STEVE Padilla rides in an open-air elevator to the top of the 150-Foot Solar Tower at Mount Wilson Observatory, in the mountains just east of Los Angeles. When he opens the dome, sunlight beams in. Padilla aligns two mirrors in the century-old telescope, sending a reflection of the Sun toward a lens. Downstairs, a 17-inch image of the star appears on a piece of paper.
Padilla catches a ride back down in the elevator and stands before the paper. It’s time to draw.

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