Roper Mountain Science Center with historic telescope

Greenville, South Carolina (FOX Carolina) – Did you know that one of the largest telescopes of its kind in the nation is located here in Greenville?

Located at the highest point of the Roper Mountain Science Center, there are several vantage points once the observatory roof opens and the telescope is pointed properly.

“The science part is very exciting just to get a hands-on experience for my child and see such a beautiful telescope. I know it’s close by, so I’m excited to see it up close.

In addition to the view, the 8th largest refractor telescope in North America has a deep history.

“No one is exactly the same as ours. Thing.

Originally built in the 1880s, the telescope and its 23-inch lens sat at the Princeton University Observatory for decades.

Meanwhile, people like Albert Einstein were on campus.

The telescope was also featured on the infamous “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast in the 1930s.

“As part of that broadcast, they at one point looked at Mars at the Princeton Observatory and claimed to have seen strange activity on Mars,” Romatelli explained.

So how did this historic telescope get to Greenville?

It was moved from Princeton to the U.S. Naval Observatory in the 1960s, where it was to be used for initiation studies, but ended up in storage.

“The U.S. government began looking for alternative uses for the telescope to determine which proposals for owning a telescope would be the best, would yield the best results, and would basically help the most people. We have created a contest for ,” says Romatelli.

In 1978, a Greenville County school purchased a telescope for $1. The district also had to pay to move the telescope upstate.

The observatory and telescope are open to the public for most Friday Starry Night programs during special events and weather permitting.

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