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The Dunedin Astronomical Society had spent $38,000 on a new telescope, mounting and camera from the United States, and a further $9000 on modernising the observatory at Robin Hood Park this year, president Peter Jaquiery said on Friday.
This modernisation included raising the floor by 1m and installing computer screens in the dome to allow visitors to see what was being captured by the telescope.
The funds were raised through grants and contributions from members and past members.
The new 35cm telescope system replaces the 31cm model, which had been in use since 1973. It was hoped it would allow better access for visitors to the telescope and improve its usability for society members, Mr Jaquiery said.
The instrument has been dedicated to Arthur Doig and Niell Campbell, both prominent members of the society in the 1970s.