the Link Observatory
of the Observatory
The Goethe Link Observatory, located on a high bluff about 3
miles south of Mooresville, Indiana on US 67 Indiana.
The large 36" telescope was
completed 1939 as the private observatory of Dr. Goethe
Link, a noted Indianapolis surgeon and amateur astronomer.
The primary mirror was a Corning Glassworks honeycomb test
pouring for the famous Mt. Palomar Observatory 200-inch
telescope. The original optical configuration was Newtonian.
The observatory complex includes a kitchen, a library, and a
Link Observatory was donated to Indiana University in 1948
and was used regularly for astronomical research until the
mid-1980's, by which time the night sky brightness from the
Indianapolis suburbs had substantially restricted the
breadth of research possible from the site. In 1964 the
Newtonian optics were converted to an f/10 Cassegrain
system. To avoid perforating the honeycomb primary mirror
the focus is diverted to any one of three Nasmyth foci by a
folding flat above the primary mirror. This has the
advantage of allowing several instruments to remain
simultaneously mounted on the telescope. Instruments used
there during the 1950-80's include a photographic camera,
photoelectric photometer, scanning spectrometer, and slit
spectrograph. Topics studied include galactic clusters, cool
star spectrophotometry, and spectroscopy of interacting
Achievements in Scientific Research
The observatory complex was used during the 1950-60's to
recover asteroids whose orbits had been "lost"
during the interruption of regular astronomical observations
that occurred worldwide during World War II. These
observations also led to the discovery of many new minor
planets, and over a hundred new Link asteroids have been
named as a result.
observatory is now operated jointly by Indiana University,
The Link Observatory Space Science Institute and the
Indiana Astronomical Society, an amateur astronomy group
based in central Indiana to which Dr. Link belonged.
Today, the observatory hosts a variety of events focused on
Education and Public Outreach and is used jointly by the
Link Observatory and Space Science Center, Inc and the
Indiana Astronomical Society.