Watson Clock Drive
As a professional instrument, the Watson telescope's mechanical accuracy rivaled the best telescopes of its time. It employed a mechanism to track astronomical targets in right ascension that was driven by a small motor regulated by a series of falling weights and a swinging pendulum, much like a grandfather clock. When originally decommissioned in 1988, the tracking was found to lose only 1 second per month of continual tracking.
It was this kind of original clock-regulated tracking mechanism that gave rise to the name of right ascension motors still used on telescopes to this day. Although now regulated with electronic circuitry, they are still called " clock drives".
NOTE: This part of the Watson Scope was not provided to HAL. If it still exists, its whereabout are unknown.
Clock Drive Photos
© 1999-2019 Howard Astronomical League
All Rights Reserved