New Dome Project

The Observatory needs a larger instrument by which visitors may observe faint objects such as distant galaxies and nebulae. This will greatly enhance the value of practical educational opportunities offered in ways not at present possible. The Society has already obtained such a telescope, and is trying to raise funds to construct a suitable dome.

This electronically-controlled 20-inch reflecting telescope has a light-gathering power at least five times greater than the observatory’s refracting telescopes, covers a wider field of view and will therefore increase the range and number of practical projects that can be undertaken. The observatory will offer greater interactive experience for students and visitors, helping them to appreciate the techniques and advances of recent years.

Planning permission for the new dome has been granted and the Society is now raising funds to meet the cost of construction and equipment, estimated to be £60,000. The new dome requires a special design so as to be compatible with the other listed buildings on the site. An associated annexe will serve as an exhibition area displaying real-time images from the telescope.