Harriet Smith ’75, M ’77, right, visited Yerkes Observatory before it closed to the public last fall. While there, she toured the observatory and spent several hours using the 40-inch refracting telescope to peer at stars, star clusters and planets. The observatory, located in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, has been called the “birthplace of modern astrophysics.” The telescope they used is the largest refracting telescope successfully used for research in astronomy. The University of Chicago, which operates the observatory, decided to shut down the facility as a cost-cutting measure. Before the modern era, scientists such as Edwin Hubble, Edward Barnard, Gerard Kuiper, George Ellery Hale, Carl Sagan and a host of other giants in astronomy worked or studied there.