SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Mount Wilson Fire, Nebula, More

 SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Mount Wilson Fire, Nebula, More
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August 31, 2009--Thick smoke roils around the dome of the 100-inch Hooker telescope at California's Mount Wilson Observatory, which was founded in 1904. The so-called Station Fire, which started Wednesday in a national park north of Los Angeles, has been threatening the historic observatory as firefighters have been struggling to contain the blaze amid hot, dry weather conditions.

The Hooker telescope first started collecting light from the heavens in 1917, and it held the title as the largest optical telescope in the world until 1948. In 1929 astronomer Edwin Hubble used the Hooker telescope to collect data on the distances between galaxies and their relative speeds, which led him to confirm that the universe is expanding.

See more Station Fire pictures >>
— Photograph by Hector Mata, AP
 
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