Kenwood Astrophysical Observatory

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The Kenwood Astrophysical Observatory was the personal observatory of George Ellery Hale, constructed by his father, William E. Hale, in 1890 at the family home in the Kenwood section of Chicago.[1] It was here that the spectroheliograph, which Hale had invented while attending MIT, was first put to practical use; and it was here that Hale established the Astrophysical Journal. Kenwood's principal instrument was a twelve-inch refractor, which was used in conjunction with a Rowland grating as part of the spectroheliograph. Hale hired Ferdinand Ellerman as an assistant; years later, the two would work together again at the Mount Wilson Observatory.

Hale's work attracted the attention of many in the astronomical community, and when he was hired at the University of Chicago as a professor of astronomy, more advanced astronomy students initially used the Kenwood Observatory.[2] When Yerkes Observatory was established in 1897, the Kenwood instruments were donated to the University of Chicago and moved to the Yerkes facility in Williams Bay, Wisconsin.


  1. ^ Kenwood Astrophysical Observatory Buildings, Instruments, Equipment, Grounds
  2. ^ Starr, Frederick (October 1897). "Science at the University of Chicago". Popular Science Monthly. New York: D. Appleton and Company. 51 (May to October 1897): 802. Retrieved Oct 25, 2015.

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Coordinates: 41°48′42″N 87°36′11″W / 41.8117°N 87.6031°W / 41.8117; -87.6031