2016 schedule


Progress report on the reconstruction of the Great Melbourne Telescope

Barry Clark

Astronomical Society of Victoria

Reconstruction of the Great Melbourne Telescope began in 2009 at Museum Victoria.  Weekly workshop sessions since then have been attended by a team of about a dozen active volunteers from the Astronomical Society of Victoria.  Initial years were largely taken up by making new engineering drawings of the several hundred parts on hand, by cleaning and conservation of these parts, and in gathering original technical information to replace that lost in two fires at Mt Stromlo.  More recently, a massive steel frame has been designed and built as a temporary replacement for the original masonry pillars, with possible permanent use in which the original appearance would be reproduced by basalt cladding.  However, when the polar axle assembly was rotated an unexpected eccentricity was revealed.  Precise measurements of the central cast iron cube indicated that it must have warped by about a millimetre while under load during the firestorm at Mt Stromlo in 2003.  Rectification of this fault is currently in hand.  Meanwhile, progress has been made on other aspects including design of the new optical system, reverse engineering of the missing clockwork drive system and design and manufacture of many other missing parts.