Siding Spring back on sky

After the bush fires which ravaged New South Wales mid-January 2013, we are pleased to announce that the LCOGT installation at Siding Spring is back on sky!

Our observatory at Siding Spring suffered minimal damage during the fire, thanks to the aggressive tree clearing which had been done at the site. The fires affected the electricity supply to the whole site. During that time our operations team were able to verify that all the telescope systems were largely unaffected by using the observatory's back-up power system for short periods of time. Fortunately the damage to the mains power was restored swiftly by the utility company.

Since the power was restored our operations team have checked all the systems thoroughly. We had to wait for the all-clear from the Australian National University (who owns the whole site) because there was a danger posed by asbestos from elderly observatory accommodation buildings which had burned down. During this time we found that our weather station had suffered damage but we have been able to make it operable again.

Today we can announce that Siding Spring is back on line and our telescope there, Faulkes Telescope South, is observing again.

Many thanks go to Mark Willis, Observatory manager, for keeping the observatory safe and making it operational again.

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