Telescopes Siding Spring


Active telescopes

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The Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT), which was opened in 1974 by HRH Prince Charles, is operated by ANU.

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2.3 telescope

The ANU 2.3m Telescope was built in the early 1980s, at the initiative of the then director, Don Mathewson. The entire project was managed by the observatory's own technical staff, and a large amount of the construction was also undertaken in-house.

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Faulkes Telescope South
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The Faulkes Telescope South is a Ritchey Chretien telescope that was designed and built in the United Kingdom and is now operated by the Las Cumbres Observatory.

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GOTO-South at Siding Spring Observatory. Credit: Dr. Martin Dyer
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GOTO-South forms part of an international network of wide-field optical telescopes to detect counterparts of gravitational-wave events.

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Image: The 10 Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM super telephoto lenses that make up the Huntsman Telescope.
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The Huntsman Telescope is designed to take extremely faint images of astronomical objects in the Southern sky and is made up from an array of Canon telephoto lenses.

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The iTelescope.Net facility at Siding Spring Observatory is the southern hemispheric station of a global network of small to medium sized robotic telescopes designed specifically for use by the public via the internet. It is its flagship observatory and was commissioned in January 2013.

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The KMTNet aims primarily to discover extrasolar planets based on the analyses of gravitational microlensing phenomena, especially the detection of earth-mass planets in the habitable zone of their parent star.

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Project Solaris
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Owned and operated by the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center in Torun, Poland, a branch of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Solaris Telescope is a 20 inch Ritchey Chretien system that is being used to look for planets around eclipsing binary stars using precision photometry. 

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Skymapper telescope

SkyMapper is a state-of-the-art automated wide-field survey telescope that represents a new vehicle for scientific discovery. It is sited under the dark skies of Siding Spring Observatory near Coonabarabran, in central NSW.

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The HAT-South Project

HAT-South is a project to search for transiting extrasolar planets in the Southern Hemisphere. It uses a network of wide-field telescopes to monitor hundreds of thousands of bright stars, searching for the characteristic dip in light that occurs when a planet passes in front of its host star.

Learn more about The HAT-South Project
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UNC PROMPT (Panchromatic Robotic Optical Monitoring and Polarimetry Telescopes), from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is made up of a number of observatories around the world. Here at SSO, UNC have installed four 17 inch Planewave telescopes.

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Decommissioned telescopes

74-inch Reflector

As the site’s largest and most advanced telescope, the 74-inch reflector was the Observatory’s primary research instrument throughout its lifetime.

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ANU 16 inch Boller & Chivens Telescope

The ANU 16inch Telescope, purchased from Boller & Chivens, was operational soon after the 40 inch Telescope (circa 1965). Its building was designed with room for small mechanical and electronic workshops.

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ANU 24 inch Boller & Chivens Telescope

After the first two telescopes (the ANU 40 inch and 16 inch telescopes) were completed at Siding Spring Observatory, a third telescope, a 24 inch reflector was also ordered from Boller & Chivens.

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ANU 40 inch Boller & Chivens Telescope

The ANU 40inch Telescope was the first telescope constructed at SSO and was designed for photography or photoelectric work. It took only 13 months to build and the building contained both living quarters and a library.

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bRING Project

The bRing experiment ("β Pic b Ring") consists of twin two-camera instruments, which will monitor the bright star β Pictoris throughout 2017 and 2018 for signs of obscuration from circumplanetary dust associated with the young gas giant exoplanet β Pic b.

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Farnham Telescope

The 6-inch Farnham telescope was built in 1886 and donated to the Commonwealth by the estate of Lord Farnham in 1907. It was installed in 1928 in the original Commonwealth Solar Observatory building.

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Great Melbourne Telescope

This reflector was originally built for the Melbourne Observatory in 1868 for visual (look and sketch) observations. In the 1990s the reflector joined the MACHO project to investigate one of the big mysteries of the universe – ‘dark matter’.

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The Heliostat (or Sun Telescope) was completed in 1931 it became the site’s primary research instrument.

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Reynolds Reflector
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The 30-inch Reynolds telescope was the first reflecting telescope on Mount Stromlo and the largest operational telescope in the Southern Hemisphere until the 1950s.

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Robotic Optical Transient Search Experiment (ROTSE)
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The primary goal of the ROTSE project was to achieve observations in optical light of the massive deep-space explosions called gamma-ray bursts (GRBs).

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The Oddie Refractor

The Oddie Telescope was donated to the Commonwealth in 1909, and established at Stromlo in 1911. The Oddie Dome was the first building on Mount Stromlo, and the first Commonwealth building in Canberra.

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UNSW Automated Patrol Telescope (APT)
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The primary goal of the ROTSE project was to achieve observations in optical light of the massive deep-space explosions called gamma-ray bursts (GRBs).

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Uppsala 0.5m Schmidt Near Earth Object Survey Telescope

Built in 1956 at the Uppsala Observatory workshop in Sweden, the Uppsala telescope was first located at Mount Stromlo Observatory (MSO) in 1957. This telescope played an important role in the eventual establishment of the observatory at Siding Spring.

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Uppsala-Schmidt Telescope

Built in 1955, this dome housed a 20/26-inch Schmidt telescope under the operation of Sweden's University of Uppsala.

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Yale-Columbia Refractor

The telescope moved to Mount Stromlo and recommenced operation in 1956.

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