The Lamont-Hussey Observatory
Naval Hill, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Concise History and Current Research
Page compiled by ASSA Bloemfontein Centre


Tribute to the Lamont-Hussey Observatory -
Perspective from the University of Michigan, USA.

Sent by Dr. Patrick Seitzer, University of Michigan, USA
on the 75th year commemoration of the Lamont-Hussey Observatory. 13 Sept. 2003.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the start of observing at
the Lamont-Hussey Observatory. This was the University of
Michigan's first permanent observatory outside the original 1854
observatory near central campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was
also Michigan's first telescope in the Southern Hemisphere. Since
then Michigan has continuously operated at least one telescope
south of the equator. Thus Lamont-Hussey marks the start of a long
tradition of having telescopes in far better locations for research
than cloud-covered and light polluted southeastern Michigan.

and archives
Recent discoveries
and news
Photo gallery
and sketches
and contact details
Become part of
the research effort
Contact us for a visit
to the Museum

The scientific legacy of Lamont-Hussey is the tremendous number of
double star observations begun by Rossiter, Jessup, and Donner, and
completed by Holden. This catalog of stars is one of the largest double
star catalogs done in the Southern hemisphere, and is valuable for
understanding the characteristics of double stars in our Galaxy.

This star catalog would have been impossible without the generous
support of groups in South Africa at several critical times in the
Observatory's history. When the observatory was founded, the city
of Bloemfontein provided the site on Naval Hill and many more
contributions. At critical times in the Observatory's history,
particularly during very difficult economic climes in Michigan,
South Africa provided financial support to keep the Observatory
open and the scientific observations continuing.

Although it is tragic that the telescope no longer exists,
it was tremendously exciting to learn several years ago from Willie Koorts of the South African
Astronomical Observatory that the building and dome still existed on Naval Hill. The conversion of the building
to a theatre is one of the most creative reuses of an observatory building anywhere.

I extend warm greetings from Ann Arbor and many thanks to all who
have provided valuable historical information and photos of the
Observatory. I hope that sometime in the very near future a personal
visit to Bloemfontein and the Observatory will be possible.

regards, Pat Seitzer

Lamont-Hussey Sterrewag / Observatory 75th Commemorative event

Hiermee word u vriendelik uitgenooi na die herdenking van die 75 ste ontstaansjaar van die Lamont-Hussey Sterrewag. Dit word gehou by die Brandweermuseum waar ook die reuse teleskoopbuise van die 27 duim Lamont-refraktor en bekende Mars-kameras uitgestal word.

You are cordially invited to the 75th year commemoration of the founding of the Lamont-Hussey Observatory. It will be hosted at the Fire Brigade Museum where the large telescope tubes of the 27-inch Lamont refractor and renowned Mars cameras are exhibited.

Datum/Date : 13/09/2003
Tyd/Time : 18h00 vir/for 19h00
Plek/Venue : Ehrlichpark Brandweermuseum/Fire Brigade Museum
Kerkstraat, Bloemfontein (sien kaart / see map)


" Besigtiging van museum en uitstallings/Viewing of museum and exhibitions
" Lamont-Hussey Gedenklesing/ Lamont-Hussey Commemorative lecture (25 min.)
" Aanbieding - Henrietta Swan Leavitt - Presentation (15 min.)
" Oorsig - Bloemfontein 1950 - Overview (20 min.)
" Tee & Koffie/Tea & Coffee

Veilige toesluitparkering/ Secure parking

Aangebied deur die Vriende van Boyden en ASSA Bloemfontein Geskiedenisgroep.
Organized by the Friends of Boyden and ASSA Bloemfontein History Group.

Kontakpersone/Contact persons:
Prof. A. Schoch: 051-4366342 (h)
Braam van Zyl: 051-4367555 (h) /