Some choky smoke exuded from the area round Quabita. Turbo sneezed, but he pricked up his ears and listened. Quabita continued, “I want you to meet George Ellery Hale. He played a central role in developing Caltech into a leading research university almost 100 years ago.” Turbo gasped. He’d gone back almost 100 years inTime!
“Tell me about Hale” Turbo asked.
“he discovered magnetic fields in sunspots and is known for his development of great astronomical instruments; solar telescopes are usually extended beneath the earth. ” Quabita explained. “The reason we are as far down as the telescopes.” Turbo looked flummoxed, as well as he might.
Why am I in the steam tunnels?” exclaimed Turbo, wide-eyed. Quabita gave an incandescent smile.
“Well, I never!” Turbo sighed. He was tired from a long day but didn’t want to admit it. He felt like sneaking back to the freshly cut lawns of the campus. But Quabita withered him with a determined glance, and blew some different colored smoke around itself. By the time the smoke had cleared Turbo saw that he was in the corner of a gloomy laboratory. Courageously, he trotted towards a feisty scientist, who was propping his head up over papers strewn on an untidy desk.
“That’s Hale,” Quabita said. “He is writing an important paper; he is composing; whilst he’s composing, I ‘m decomposing….” and Quabita gave another tinkling laugh. Hale looked up. He didn’t seem at all surprised to see a dog and he began earnestly to explain that he built solar apparatus of great power.
Turbo was intrigued. At last he asked the professor, “What if your eye was, itself, powerful enough to be able to see the stars?” Then he thought to himself, the eye is not powerful enough to see distant stars and never will be; that’s why you need telescopes.
There was dead silence. Turbo quaked a little. Still silence. At best, all he could expect from Hale was a curt “goodbye”. At last Hale drew a breath.
“You given me an idea” he said slowly. “We shall construct the world’s larger telescope this time on Palomar mountain, under the auspices of Caltech. What about calling it “Big Eye” he said, in touching overtones, stroking Turbo’s ear.
“A new discovery” mumbled the astronomer. “An eye powerful enough to see the stars. A 200 inch telescope. A big eye telescope, created at the suggestion of a dog!” Hale seemed to enlarge with his own laughter.
To be continued
note: The 200″ is not an eye; it’s a telescope exactly like the 60″ and the 100″ but bigger, so that its mirror can gather more light and therefore see stars farthest away