McDonald Telescope sees first light

On 30 October Kurt Vander Horst and Jacob Towsley commissioned the new Wren Marcario Accessible Telescope (WMAT) telescope at McDonald Observatory in Texas. WMAT is a unique design for telescope which is accessible to people in a seated position, particularly in a wheelchair. LCOGT are assisting with the construction and commissioning of the telescope. The WMAT website has much more information, including updates and photos.

FTN and the realuminized mirror

Faulkes Telescope North has undergone a substantial refurbishment. The primary mirror has been removed using a portable gantry, and block and tackle. This is no mean undertaking as the mirror itself weighs over a ton, at 1240 Kg (2734 lbs). The mirror was then moved to a facility on the Haleakala mountain top where it was re-aluminized. This is the first time the mirror has had more than a wash since its installation in 2003. 

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