These views of the McMath–Pierce solar telescope enclosure are the preliminary to a guided tour of the instrument, April 20, 2005.
On the tower are three heliostats, plane (flat) mirrors mounted on computer-controlled platforms to follow the sun across the sky to direct sunlight to primary mirrors underground, beneath the base of the slanted shaft
Built in 1962, the building was designed by American architect Myron Goldsmith and Bangladeshi-American structural engineer Fazlur Rahman Khan. It was the largest solar telescope and the largest unobstructed aperture telescope in the world. It is named after the astronomers Robert Raynolds McMath and Keith Pierce.
Inside the McMath–Pierce solar telescope is this keyed model of the observatory. Our docent for the morning tour stands alongside.