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Winter Dome, University of Illinois

Winter Dome, University of Illinois (Known places)

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Tags: university (2 pics)

The University of Illinois Astronomical Observatory was constructed in 1896 (123 years ago). It stands on South Matthews Avenue in Urbana, Champaign County, Illinois. The observatory was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on Nov. 6, 1986 (33 years ago) and on dec. 20, 1989 (30 years ago) the U.S. Department of Interior designated the U of I Observatory a National Historic Landmark. Though none of the astronomical instruments are being used for professional research today, the observatory still contains a 12" Brashear refractor. The observatory played a key role in the development of astronomy as it was home to a key innovation in the area of astronomical photometry. The facility has been directed by such noted scientists as Joel Stebbins and Robert H. Baker.

Erected in 1896 (123 years ago) at the behest of the Illinois General Assembly, the University of Illinois Observatory became important in the development of astronomy due, in large part, to pioneering research by Stebbins, from 1907 (112 years ago) to 1922 (97 years ago). Joel Stebbins left the University of Illinois in 1922 (97 years ago) but left behind a legacy of discovery that helped alter the face of modern astronomy. The building, itself, is in a traditional observatory design, following a T-plan. The dome rises 35 feet (11 m) in the air. The building served the University of Illinois astronomy department from its opening until 1979 (40 years ago) when the department moved into a new, larger building to house its growing staff.


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