This crowdfunding campaign is now complete, thank you so much for your support! The new dome and telescope are operational with first light on the (then) manually steered telescope on 8th December 2017 and first guided usage a week later on Friday 15th December 2017!
First light on the new 14" telescope in the new dome! So new we've not even set up the motor drive yet so it's purely manual. :-) pic.twitter.com/ggZuLz8xD1— Mount Burnett Observatory (@MBObservatory) December 8, 2017
The Mount Burnett Observatory is fundraising for a new dome and telescope, and as part of that we are running a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe! Please do try and help us out. Current status: The dome itself is built and will be cabled next. We still need to raise more funds to kit the dome out with a robotic telescope and related equipment! Here's a video of the new dome roof being lifted into place on Sunday 21st May 2017.
SO WHAT DO WE WANT TO DO?
Mount Burnett Astronomical Society wants to install a Sirius 3.5 dome and telescope.
With the success of the observatory we are finding that our facilities are no longer capable of matching public demand. The original 18 inch telescope which was installed in the 1970’s was never designed for large numbers of the viewing public. It is accessed by a narrow, steep stair which restricts people with mobility issues. There is no wheelchair access. The telescope itself was not designed to be used as a viewing telescope, and to actually look through the lens can involve perching precariously at the top of a ladder. Use of the telescope is limited by the nature of the design of the scope and a lack of computerisation. A new Go-To telescope will allow the citizen scientists of Mount Burnett and our partner schools to once more do research on the mountain.
A NEW DOME?
The Sirius 3.5 dome is a ground-floor-access, computerised dome that would improve our ability to meet public demand, provide greater accessibility and develop our astrophotography capability. The Go-To telescope will be suitable for advanced viewing projects.