We’re getting a new telescope!
The 135 year old, historic 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 now 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 Trust Board 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.
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 a 14″ Celestron or Meade telescope This will 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 can 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 have a fixed mount in the Observatory.
The new telescope had been bought and shipped and it is on the way to Nelson, New Zealand.