Allegheny Observatory, Observatory Hill

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This 47-foot long telescope scanned the heavens for nearly a century and helped define Earth's place in the universe. It's called the Thaw Memorial Refractor telescope, and it's located in the main dome at the Allegheny Observatory in the Observatory Hill neighborhood. The 8,000-pound telescope utilizes photography to pin down the positions of celestial objects. The current observatory building, a maze-like structure with a number of narrow hallways and stairways, was dedicated in 1912. The man on the ladder is Lou Coban, who manages the observatory, which is owned and operated by the University of Pittsburgh.

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