The names of two of Cincinnati's legendary "Seven Hills" have astronomical origins.

On November 9, 1843, John Quincy Adams stood on a hill in Cincinnati overlooking the young, growing city: the 76-year-old former president and then United States congressman had just made an exhausting trip from his home in Massachusetts for the express purpose of laying the foundation for the newly established Cincinnati Observatory.

On the mountain peak nicknamed "Mount Ida," Adams proudly delivered a one-hour speech on Dedi Cincinnati's astronomical achievements: the founding of the first major observatory in the Western Hemisphere and the subsequent arrival of a world-class telescope from Munich, Bavaria. The citizens of Cincinnati were so touched by the "Old Man Eloquent" that they officially named the hill in his honor. Since 1965 he is Mount Adams.

On April 14, 1845, in the gray of a lingering twilight over Mount Adams, the Orksby MacMnight Mitchel of Cincinnati Observatory saw his first glimpse through the great telescope, the world's third largest telescope. He saw the moon, "their mountain heights, their rocky abysses, and their valleys," Jupiter, "globe of towering splendor," the Saturn system, "the mind overwhelmed in wonder and astonishment." Astronomers call this first look through the telescope "First Light" and mark the birthday of the telescope.

The Cincinnati Observatory resided for 30 years on the summit of Mount Adams, where the old telescope scanned the stars over Cincinnati. Today, you can stand right where the Kloster Veranstaltungszentrum is located right now. As the city grew larger and larger, air pollution became a growing problem. Coal smoke from the industry and the heating of houses flooded the valley so thoroughly that it was impossible to see through the telescope. Astronomers could not even see the stars.


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