First Light for SAAO’s new telescope

SAAO has a brand new 1-metre telescope in Sutherland! We began the installation with the manufacturing team from APM Telescopes on Tuesday 2 August and by Friday the telescope had seen First Light. We are busy commissioning and characterising the telescope, whose first generation instrument will be SHOC.

The project is led by Dr. Hannah Worters, an SAAO Astronomer. In addition to the telescope technical efforts, extensive civils work was required to overhaul the telescope dome and pier that used to house a 30-inch telescope. We anticipate that this new 1 metre will be the first SAAO telescope to be regularly operated remotely.

Watch this space for more information!

The construction team in front of the new 1-m telescope.

The construction team in front of the new 1-m telescope: (l to r) Markus Ludes, Michael Knopf, Hannah Worters, and Jurgen Winges. Not pictured is Petr Kubanek (who was likely in the control room working on the software), and Dan Gray (who didn’t travel to South Africa for the installation).

Lifting the telescope components into the dome.Lifting the telescope components into the dome.Cassegrain