26 Jul 2016

The 28 inch telescope return’s to Greenwich

FOURTY FIVE years ago the 28 inch refractor telescope was returned to the the Royal Greenwich Observatory from Herstmonceux, after a period of safe keeping.

The telescope was originally housed at the Royal Greenwich Observatory up until the start of World War 2, then the telescope was stored in a safe place. Just as well because a bomb fell nearby damaging the telescope dome it was housed in. Following the last war the move to Herstmonceux was planned because Greenwich Park had become unsuitable a site for observations. The onion dome was taken down and the 28 inch was set up at a new dome at Herstmonceux castle.

Sir Patrick Moore was on hand to see the 28 inch return to the Royal Greenwich Observatory on 23 October 1971, and he made a Sky at Night program about it that was broadcast that December. These exclusive images are from Patrick Moore’s photo archive.

This month I went along to meet the Curator of the Royal Greenwich Observatory, Dr Louise Devoy, to see the magnificent 28 inch refractor in its onion shape dome, and learn about the other equatorial telescopes that was housed at the observatory; you can see my program on 29 July ….

Richard Pearson F.R.A.S.

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