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 Edit this at Wikidata
Observatory Siding Spring Observatory Edit this on Wikidata
Location(s) New South Wales, Australia Edit this at 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 Edit this at Wikidata
Organization Australian National University Edit this on Wikidata
Altitude 1,165 m (3,822 ft) Edit this at Wikidata
Built –1980s Edit this on Wikidata (–1980s Edit this on Wikidata) Edit this at Wikidata
Telescope style Optical telescope Edit this on Wikidata
Diameter 2.3 m (7 ft 7 in) Edit this at Wikidata
Secondary diameter 0.3 m (1 ft 0 in) Edit this at Wikidata
Focal length 4,715 mm (15 ft 5.6 in) Edit this at Wikidata
Mounting Altazimuth mount Edit this on Wikidata Edit this at Wikidata
Website Edit this at Wikidata
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.[1] The optical telescope has Altazimuth mount and a primary mirror with a focal length of f/2.05.[1] 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.[2] It was regarded as an achievement in high technology for Australia. In 1985, it won an award from the Institution of Engineers.[2]


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.[2] The light mirror and rotating design allows the telescope to be rapidly moved as observations are made.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "ANU 2.3m Telescope". ANU College of Physical & Mathematical Sciences. The Australian National University. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  2. ^ 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.