Astronomical observatory on Mount Palomar, near San Diego, Calif., U.S., site of the famous Hale Telescope, a reflecting telescope with a 200-in. (5-m) aperture that has proved instrumental in cosmological research. The telescope, which made its first observations in 1949 and was named in honour of George Ellery Hale (1868–1938), was the largest instrument of its kind for almost 30 years. The observatory was founded in 1948 by the California Institute of Technology and was operated jointly with the Mount Wilson Observatory as the Hale Observatories until 1980.
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