The Great Melbourne Telescope

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Presenter: Richard Gillespie

Published: September 2013

Age: 14-19 and upwards

Views: 509 views

Tags: melbourne;telescope;history;fire

Type: Lectures

Source/institution: Royal Society


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A joint project of the Royal Society and the British Association, the Great Melbourne Telescope was the result of both technical and organisational innovation in the design and manufacture of a large telescope. At the completion of its construction by Dublin engineer Thomas Grubb, it was hailed as a masterpiece of engineering. Erected at Melbourne Observatory in 1869, the telescope was the second largest telescope in the world, designed to explore the nature of the nebulae in the southern hemisphere skies. Using a hybrid instrument with speculum metal mirror, innovative mounting, camera and spectroscope, its observers struggled to get definitive results. Richard Gillespie is Head of the Humanities Department at Museum Victoria in Melbourne, Australia.