MBO Tour 2: The Monash Dome

2. The Monash Dome

The Observatory was built in 1972 by Monash University and overseen by the science faculty. The first building on the site was a two-storey ‘dome’, housing a 16′′ (0.4-m) Newtonian reflector telescope.

(Click to see larger images)

The telescope mount itself dates back the late 1940s. If you take the tour, you will see it upstairs. The telescope was bought by Monash University from the deceased estate of Mr. L. Jeffree in Bendigo in 1968 and Monash staff and students modified it to take a spectrograph. Spectrographs collect data that tell scientists how much light comes out at each wavelength. These data reveal important details about the makeup of atmospheres on exoplanets, the compositions of stars and nebulas, the motion of galaxies and more [source]. Our spectrograph was installed here in 1972.

(Click to see larger images)

The telescope was originally a 16-inch mirror in a wooden tube, but the wooden tube was unable to handle the weight of the spectrograph and other instruments, so Monash University decided to upgrade and an 18 inch mirror tube was installed in 1984. Our telescope in the Monash dome was last used for official scientific research by Monash University in 2004.

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