The Great Melbourne Telescope Book Launched
The Great Melbourne Telescope was one of the largest telescopes in the world in the 19th century, and the largest in the southern hemisphere. It was erected at Melbourne Observatory in 1869, and symbolised to Melburnians that their city was a city of learning and civilization, not just of economic wealth.
Relocated to Canberra in 1944, it was heavily modified for modern astronomy. The 2003 Canberra bushfires destroyed the modern equipment, but left the original parts relatively unscathed. The original parts of the telescope have now been returned to Melbourne and a project to restore the telescope and reinstate it in its original building at the former Melbourne Observatory site is underway. The restoration project is being coordinated by the Astronomical Society of Victoria, Museum Victoria and The Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne.
Dr Richard Gillespie has captured the dramatic life of this iconic instrument as well as the politics surrounding its construction and operation. This book is very readable and would make an excellent Christmas present for anyone with an interest in science.