MBO was honoured to have the first PhD student to graduate from the observatory back when Monash University ran it, Dr Len Halprin, come back and pay a visit – with his current students from Sandringham College. “It’s like coming full circle,” he commented. He graduated around the time the old wooden 16″ telescope was changed over to the current 18″ metal-tubed one that now sits in the big Monash dome in the mid 1980’s, so he is not familiar with that telescope, but he was able to tell us lots about the early days of the the observatory, and about using the old photometer he used to do his work (which he can be seen holding in the photo), and how they set things up. He was also pleased to see the new concrete pathways we have installed, no more sloshing through the mud in winter!
Thanks for the visit and all the information, Len. We plan to feature the photometer in a museum display of old equipment in the lower half of the dome in the near future.