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Image number: RS.17522
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Alta Vista Station




Charles Piazzi Smyth (1819-1900, British), Astronomer

Object type

Archive reference number





Stereoscopic view of a brick wall enclosure, with a large telescope visible in the centre, facing skyward. Volcanic rock can be seen in the foreground and background. A man dressed entirely in white stands outside of the enclosure, and a tripod with another scientific instrument is just visible outside the left wall [as viewed] of the enclosure.

Inscribed in ink underneath: 'View of the Alta Vista Station from the S.W.: showing the Pattinson quatorial in the square enclosure, the Sheepshank's equatorial appearing through the roof of the Optical room, and Airy's polarimeter on the tripod stand towards the East.'

The 'Alta Vista Station' was the name of the camp erected at the peak of Mount Teide by Charles Piazzi Smyth and his party during their 1856 astronomical expedition to this volcanic mountain range.

'Airy' likely refers to George Biddell Airy (1801- 1892), the Astronomer Royal between 1835 and 1881, who had expressed his support of Smyth's expedition.

From the 'Tenerife Papers of Charles Piazzi Smyth', a scrapbook of watercolours and stereographs. Charles Piazzi Smyth (1819-1900) Italian Astronomer was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1857, but resigned in 1874.

Object history

Donated to the Royal Society by Charles Piazzi Smyth, 1857.

Associated place

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