Observatory ready for reopening

The observatory at the top of Stoke St. Photo by Sally Rae.
The observatory at the top of Stoke St. Photo by Sally Rae.
Stargazers are looking forward to the reopening of Oamaru's Stoke St observatory after a two-year closure.

The hiatus was largely to do with power supply, with the generator motor blowing up, and then problems with the rollers on which the roof dome revolves, North Otago Astronomical Society spokesman Andy Muldrew said.

It had been planned to reopen last Friday night, but the weather was too cloudy so it was hoped to try again this Friday between about 7.30pm and 9pm. It was then hoped the observatory would be open about once a fortnight.

It had been very frustrating having the observatory closed and having to turn down groups who were interested in visiting, Mr Muldrew said.

The observatory, with its 8in Celestron telescope, has been on the site since the 1980s. It was originally prefabricated in the United States and later used at Mt John, near Tekapo.

There was a lot of maintenance work to be done on the dome, he said.


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