Photostory #357: Majestic Motions of Universe Scientifically Recorded: Canada's New Star Fixer Amazingly Accurate

Ted Grant
National Film Board of Canada
Release Date
February 11, 1964
CMCP fonds
Credit Line
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
Main Text
Slicing sidereal time into fantastically thin slices, a revolutionary Canadian telescope is fixing the stars in the heavens with greater accuracy than ever before. Designed and built at the Dominion Observatory in Ottawa, the Mirror Transit Telescope is a complex of servo-mechanisms, electronics and special recording cameras. Its twin north-and-south pointing telescopes are rigidly aligned along the meridian on massive concrete foundations. Into these telescopes the light from stars being observed is reflected by [an 11]-inch-diameter fused quartz mirror which is flat to within one-tenth of a wavelength of visible light. Operated by remote control so that the body heat of an attendant astronomer will not interfere with its extraordinary precision, the mirror transit telescope is photo-graphically recording data of vital importance in the fields of astrophysics, celestial navigation, missile guidance, space travel and the determination of time to an incredible exactness. Canada's new star fixer is providing the nation's scientists with a leading place in the specialized realm of positional astronomy, is a technological triumph of Canadian ingenuity.