Siding Spring 2.3 m Telescope

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Advanced Technology Telescope
Siding Spring 2.3 m Telescope.png
Alternative namesAdvanced Technology Telescope Edit this at Wikidata
Part ofSiding Spring Observatory Edit this on Wikidata
Location(s)New South Wales, AUS
Coordinates31°16′18″S 149°03′44″E / 31.27167°S 149.06232°E / -31.27167; 149.06232Coordinates: 31°16′18″S 149°03′44″E / 31.27167°S 149.06232°E / -31.27167; 149.06232 Edit this at Wikidata
OrganizationAustralian National University
Altitude1,165 m
Telescope styleoptical telescope Edit this on Wikidata
Diameter2.3 m
Secondary diameter0.3 m
Focal lengthf/2.05
MountingAltazimuth mount
Siding Spring 2.3 m Telescope is located in Australia
Siding Spring 2.3 m Telescope
Location of Advanced Technology Telescope
Commons page Related media on Wikimedia Commons

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. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  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. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)