Siding Spring 2.3 m Telescope

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Siding Spring 2.3 m Telescope
SkyMapper and 2.3m.jpg
The 2.3m telescope (background) behind the SkyMapper telescope
Alternative names Advanced Technology Telescope
Observatory Siding Spring Observatory Edit this on Wikidata
Coordinates 31°16′18″S 149°03′43″E / 31.2717°S 149.062°E / -31.2717; 149.062Coordinates: 31°16′18″S 149°03′43″E / 31.2717°S 149.062°E / -31.2717; 149.062
Organization Australian National University Edit this on Wikidata[1]
Altitude 1,165 m (3,822 ft)
Built –1980s (–1980s)[1]
Telescope style optical telescope Edit this on Wikidata
Diameter 2.3 m (7 ft 7 in)[1]
Secondary diameter 0.3 m (1 ft 0 in)
Focal length 4,715 mm (15.469 ft) [1]
Mounting Altazimuth mount [1]
Siding Spring 2.3 m Telescope is located in Australia
Siding Spring 2.3 m Telescope
Location of Siding Spring 2.3 m Telescope

The 2.3 metre telescope at Siding Spring Observatory is operated by the Australian National University. The Advanced Technology Telescope was constructed during the early 1980s and featured at-the-time radical[citation needed] features: an unusually thin mirror, an alt-az mount and co-rotating dome.[2] The optical telescope has Altazimuth mount and a primary mirror with a focal length of f/2.05.[2] It is housed in a box-shaped building which rotates as the telescope tracks objects.

Instrumentation includes an integral field spectrograph known as WiFeS, an echelle spectrograph, and a Nasmyth imager. The telescope is a workhorse for numerous large programs where it is used to do follow-up observations on objects of interest before more extensive observations are made at larger telescopes. It is also a valuable tool for training students in the astronomical observing techniques.


The telescope was the initiative of Don Mathewson. It was inaugurated Prime Minister, Bob Hawke on 16 May 1984.[3] It was regarded as an achievement in high technology for Australia. In 1985, it won an award from the Institution of Engineers.[3]


The mirror used in the telescope is much thinner than those typically used in a telescope mirror. Its ratio of diameter to thickness is about 20:1.[3] The light mirror and rotating design allows the telescope to be rapidly moved as observations are made.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "ANU 2.3m Telescope". Retrieved 5 May 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "ANU 2.3m Telescope". ANU College of Physical & Mathematical Sciences. The Australian National University. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Haynes, Raymond (1996). Explorers of the Southern Sky: A History of Australian Astronomy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 184–185. ISBN 0521365759. Retrieved 15 April 2013.