Palomar Observatory

palomar_observatory.jpg

Image credit: JPL-Caltech

SUMMARY

The Palomar Observatory, located on Palomar Mountain in San Diego County, is an astronomical research center owned and operated by the California Institute of Technology. Constructed in 1936 the world-renowned observatory has a rich history of scientific and astronomical discovery. Palomar is most well-known for housing the famous 200-inch Hale Telescope, which held the title as the world’s largest telescope for 45 years. The observatory currently holds five telescopes, including the Hale Telescope, all of which are used on a nightly basis to observe the universe. Open to the public for visiting and touring, the Palomar Observatory has become a landmark of astronomical research in the state of California.

Caltech Astronomy- Palomar Observatory

http://www.astro.caltech.edu/palomar/

AUTHOR

California Institute of Technology

LAST UPDATED

February 2012

DATE REVIEWED

May 21, 2012

REVIWED BY:

Christine Menchaca

ACCURACY:

The information provided on the Caltech website appears to be very accurate and up to date. The Palomar Observatory is owned and operated by the Institute, making Caltech’s website the premier source for Palomar Observatory news and information. The website, also, has an extensive amount of links and information available to the user to ease in understanding of the observatory’s workings and history.

READABILITY and CLARITY:

The audience of the Caltech website is that of any average adult interested in learning about the observatory. The language, used throughout the website, is clear and concise. Any high school student or average adult will clearly be able to understand the material being presented on Caltech’s Palomar website.

Flesch Reading Ease Scale: 34.8

EASE OF NAVIGATION:

One of the Caltech website’s greatest strengths is its ease in navigation. The website has a navigation bar on the left hand side of the page, which includes a variety of useful information, including details on the telescopes housed in the Palomar Observatory and the history of the observatory. The pages linked, on the navigation bar, are all part of the site and one does not have to worry about being led off to an external website by any link.


National Park Service: Astronomy and Astrophysics

http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/butowsky5/astro4e.htm

AUTHOR

Harry Butowsky

LAST UPDATED

November 5, 2001

DATE REVIEWED

May 21, 2012

REVIWED BY:

Christine Menchaca

ACCURACY:

The information provided by Harry Butowsky in his online book, Astronomy and Astrophysics, is well researched and very detailed. If one seeks a thorough, highly informative description of the workings of the Palomar Observatory, its’ telescopes, and its’ scientific history, you need look no farther. A comprehensive bibliography, at the bottom of the webpage, attests to the accuracy of Butowsky’s information. However, as the website was last updated in 2001, the information provided on the Palomar Observatory may not be the most up to date.

READABILITY and CLARITY:

In his book, Butowsky writes with an educated audience in mind. The reading level is that of a college student and beyond. This website acts as an excellent resource for the educated Palomar Observatory researcher, however may not be the best choice for a younger audience. Despite the high reading level, the website is still very clear in its information and detail.

Flesch Reading Ease Scale: 30.9

EASE OF NAVIGATION:

Although the website has a navigation bar and is quite easy to move around, one who wishes to learn only about the Palomar Observatory need not even change pages. All the information provided on Palomar is contained on that single page of the website.


Palomar Skies

http://palomarskies.blogspot.com/

AUTHOR

Scott Kardel

LAST UPDATED

July 16, 2011

DATE REVIEWED

May 21, 2012

REVIWED BY:

Christine Menchaca

ACCURACY:

Although the Palomar Skies website is actually an online blogging website, created by former Palomar Public Affairs Coordinator Scott Kardel, the website houses a great deal of interesting and important information about the Palomar Observatory. Kardel produced the blog for almost three years, before leaving the observatory, and used it as an outlet to provide the public with the latest and most exciting Palomar news. As a member of the Palomar staff, all of Kardel’s information appears to be very accurate and well-researched.

READABILITY and CLARITY:

The Palomar Skies website is extremely easy and clear to read. Kardel wrote his blog in a personal fashion, which makes his information on the Palomar Observatory easy to understand for even a young reader.

Flesch Reading Ease Scale: 58.8

EASE OF NAVIGATION:

Although many blogging websites tend to be a little bit clunky, the Palomar Skies blog is very refined and simple to navigate. On the left hand side of the website is a list of dates, with each post that Kardel made on the observatory. The reader can easily scroll through the different topics, Kardel posted about the observatory. Topics range from videos of virtual tours of Palomar to historic tidbits about the research conducted throughout the observatory’s history.



Palomar Observers

https://hesperus.caltech.edu/wiki/projects/palomarobservers

AUTHOR

Unknown

LAST UPDATED

September 2011

DATE REVIEWED

May 21, 2012

REVIWED BY:

Christine Menchaca

ACCURACY:

The Palomar Observers website acts as a resource for individuals hoping to actually access and use some of the telescopes and equipment provided in the observatory. I added this link, as it contains some valuable and accurate information on the different telescopes the Palomar Observatory houses. This website is very accurate as it is also run by the Caltech Institute, which operates the Palomar Observatory.

READABILITY and CLARITY:

The Palomar Observers website is directed to a more scholarly audience. It is meant for researchers, who are actively interested in the observatory, making the website a little difficult for the average reader. Although the website is extremely informative, its readability and clarity are among some of the website’s weaker points.

Flesch Reading Ease Scale: 34.1

EASE OF NAVIGATION:

The Palomar Observers website is particularly simple to navigate and contains a navigation bar on the left hand side of the webpage. The website, also, has many links within the writing which can link the reader/researcher to additional information on the Palomar Observatory telescopes.



Palomar Summit

http://www.palomarsummit.com/observatory.html

AUTHOR

Unknown

LAST UPDATED

Unknown

DATE REVIEWED

May 21, 2012

REVIWED BY:

Christine Menchaca

ACCURACY:

The Palomar Summit website appears to be accurate as it complies with other Palomar Observatory resources. It offers some accurate scientific information, but focuses more on the guest information needed for visiting the observatory. Although the website appears to get much of its information from other sources, from my crosschecking the information provided is truthful and precise. The website is also is up to date when it comes to observatory hours and visitors’ information.

READABILITY and CLARITY:

The Palomar Summit website is designed as a website for tourists interested in exploring the Palomar Mountain State Park. With this audience in mind, the creators of the website did well in describing the Palomar Observatory’s history and scientific background in a very simple and understandable way. The writing is clear and manageable for almost all ages.

Flesch Reading Ease Scale: 55.2

EASE OF NAVIGATION:

Navigation is tremendously simple on the Palomar Summit website; however the information describing the Palomar Observatory is all on one page. The reader does not even need to navigate anywhere else on the site to find additional information on the Palomar Observatory.