The lovely 135 year old Cooke telescope, which is housed in the Cawthron Atkinson Observatory at Clifton Terrace School, is coming to the end of its useful life. Sadly, when parts fail they can’t be replaced and reluctantly the decision has been made to retire it. The telescope is being given back to the Cawthron Institute where it will be on permanent display in a new wing that is soon to be built. It will be moved from its current site into storage at the end of the year until the new wing has been built.
The Nelson Science Society and its Astronomy section have decided to now join the 21st century! We are about to start fundraising for a new
telescope – something like the one at the side. A 14″ telescope like this would give us nearly 8 times more light gathering capacity than the existing telescope, enabling fainter objects like nebulae and galaxies to be seen in detail more easily. We could use filters to observe extra details, and combat the increasing effects of light pollution extending the useful life of the observatory. The computer controlled mount will enable quicker location of astronomical targets enabling more objects to be viewed in a night more easily, and freeing up the Astronomers to spend more time educating the public about what they are seeing. The telescope will be mounted on a plinth in the Observatory, not on a tripod as shown here.
We will be starting fundraising very soon. We have already been promised $6000 and we are aiming to reach $15000. We will send out information on how to donate soon.