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Galactic Wanderer

WHAT is the largest optical telescope in the UK?

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The Royal Observatory in Edinburgh has a 900mm Reflector but I have no idea if it is the largest.

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There used to be a 37in Reflector when the Royal Greenwich Observatory was at Herstmonceux, don't know whether this got moved to Cambridge along with the others.

John

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There is still the Wall 30 inch refractor (pictured below) at the Hanwell Observatory I think. They have a 30 inch reflector there as well, for public outreach:

JohnWallTelescope.jpg

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Many years ago I built the tube assembly to house a 106cm mirror for the Astronomy Centre. We eventually managed to purchase a pre-generated mirror blank but the project to grind, polish and figure the mirror is currently on hold whilst we find a way to mitigate the effects of turbulence from wind farm turbines that now ringfence our location.    ☹️

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On 03/03/2019 at 20:30, Peter Drew said:

Many years ago I built the tube assembly to house a 106cm mirror for the Astronomy Centre. We eventually managed to purchase a pre-generated mirror blank but the project to grind, polish and figure the mirror is currently on hold whilst we find a way to mitigate the effects of turbulence from wind farm turbines that now ringfence our location.    ☹️

I'd have thought there was already enough wind at Todmorden, without the need to farm it.    oh well.

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Well, the biggest might have been the INT, before that departed to La Palma. The 36" at Cambridge (https://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/about/36-inch.telescope) is optical, and still in use for research on double stars IIRC - Edinburgh looks also to have a 0.9m Cassegrain (36") but (according to the wikipedia page) is no longer in use. (?)

The 36" Yapp at Herstmonceaux also ties I think, but the 38" Congo at Herstmonceaux beats them all (though don't believe it is in use, and never had been, as the optics were rubbish...)

I would guess Lord Ross' Levaithan at Parsonstown is probably the largest in the British Isles (but not the UK as it's in the Republic of Ireland) - 72"/1.8m!

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I believe that St Andrews University has a 36" catadioptric telescope that has a 38" primary and often claimed as the largest as a result.   ?

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On 03/03/2019 at 08:21, johninderby said:

Although not used for serious work there is the 1.8m Leviathan of Parsonstown, or Rosse telescope. Recently restored although with an aluminium mirror rather than the original speculum metal. 

That télescope must be polished often, I suspect in order to be used?

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On 03/03/2019 at 20:30, Peter Drew said:

wind farm turbines that now ringfence our location. 

is this going to become the new light pollution?

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I think I have one of the smallest. A 50 micron guided fibre for solar spectroscopy. 

Regards Andrew 

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4 hours ago, Demonperformer said:

is this going to become the new light pollution?

It could well be. The infrared lights on top of the turbines creates an Aurora Borealis effect photographically.    ?

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The UK used to have a 28" Victorian refractor at Greenwich, but sadly it's no longer in use.  I wonder if there is a larger refractor then our clubs 10" / 258mm Tomline refractor in use anywhere in the UK? 

Greenwich-Observatory-28-inch-Refractor.jpg

Orwell_Frac.jpg

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Hi John, that's good to hear. I read it was in a museum on one site, but maybe they meant the original dome as they were talking about that also? 

This site certainly refers to it being 'visitable' as recently as 2013.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p014hv0c

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8 hours ago, Lockie said:

The UK used to have a 28" Victorian refractor at Greenwich, but sadly it's no longer in use.  I wonder if there is a larger refractor then our clubs 10" / 258mm Tomline refractor in use anywhere in the UK? 

 

Yes. The Northumberland at Cambridge is very much in use (12" something like f20...) - the University AS and CAA use it.

When I studied there I used it a bit, but always preferred the rather good 8" f14 Cooke refractor (The Thorrowgood) next door...

(Had a feeling the 28" at Greenwich is still used though)

 

Edited by coatesg

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I have it on good authority that the 28” Greenwich is apertures down quite a bit... impressive looking.... but!!

at one dark site I visit, we have  5 red light radio mast... gives us a quick indication of cloud cover!

PEter

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I was using a 15" Grubb refractor at Stonyhurst College(terrestrially) last week as a preliminary to doing some refurbishment work on it.   ?

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Further "research" has revealed that the 37" James Gregory telescope at St Andrews University is in fact a Schmidt-Cassegrain. The 37" is necessary to give full illumination from the 36" aperture corrector. As such, it's the largest SCT yet made and the largest aperture in use in the UK.   ?

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