Great Melbourne Telescope

The Great Melbourne Telescope was the largest fully steerable telescope of the 19th century. Installed at the Melbourne Observatory in 1869, the telescope symbolised a transition for early Melbourne from a colonial outpost to a city of learning and science.

The telescope was relocated to Canberra in 1944, where it was heavily modified for modern astronomy, before recording the first observation of dark matter as a massive compact halo object (MACHO) in the 1990’s. The telescope was engulfed by the 2003 Canberra bushfires, significantly damaging many components.

The remaining parts of the telescope have now been returned to Melbourne. About 70 percent of the components of the original telescope have survived in a condition suitable for reuse.

The telescope is now being restored for a return to its original building at the former Melbourne Observatory site.

The restoration project is being coordinated by five project partners:

Astronomical Society of VictoriaRoyal Botanic Gardens Victoria
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