Al? Found your telescope; it’s back here in the storage shed.
The telescope goes on display this week after being forgotten for decades. Restorers spent three years and $10,000 spent refurbishing it.
An old reflecting telescope that still works well enough to see five of Jupiter’s moons and surface stripes, it was found in a Jerusalem storage shed.
Einstein received the telescope in 1954, the year before he died as a gift from a friend named Zvi Gizeri, who apparently made it himself. It will be on display beginning Thursday at Hebrew University. Einstein willed his records to the school he helped co-found.
The long black tube about eight inches in diameter and 6 feet long stands on a base experts say may have been taken from the German army. It was this unique base, recognizable in a picture of Einstein with the telescope, and a signature from Gizeri on one of its mirrors, that confirmed its authenticity in 2004, when a biologist named Eshel Ophir made the connection.
The telescope was discovered in a storage shed in the late 1990s by a computer specialist at Hebrew University, however, he did not recognize it as Einstein’s, and left it in the shed.
Ophir made the connection accidentally, mistaking another forgotten telescope for the famous physicist’s. After searching through the archives and photos, Ophir realized the real Einstein telescope was actually the one his colleague had found unceremoniously years earlier. Ophir said he immediately took the telescope to the university’s Meyerhoff Youth Center to protect and clean it.
With the exception of a new eyepiece, the rest of the device, from lenses to optics, is original. Eisnstein likely used the telescope for recreation and not for professional purposes.