Complete restoration of a telescope lost in time

by Galileo Teacher Training Program
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Help fund oculars & small optics components to restore and reactivate an early 20th-century telescope “Secretan, Paris” in Skopje, F.Y.R.O.M

  Education, Astronomy

Global for Local is a free program supported by Galileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP) to provide aid (at no cost) to small astronomy education and outreach projects that with a little funding can make a huge difference in local struggling communities.

 

We were contacted by Marko Shuntov, a student of Physics at the Faculty for Natural Sciences and Mathematics from Skopje, F.Y.R.O.M. that wishes to accomplish the final step on the restoration of their telescope.

 

Here is their story.

 

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By Marko Shuntov

 

We are students from the Institute of Physics at the “Faculty for Natural Sciences and Mathematics” in Skopje, F.Y.R.O.M. Currently, we are in the process of complete restoration of an early 20th century 200mm diameter, 3m focal length refracting “Secrétan”-Paris telescope that has been given to the Institute of Physics at the Faculty for Natural Sciences and Mathematics in F.Y.R.O.M. in 1955. After the devastating Skopje earthquake in 1963 this telescope has been completely forgotten. After a long period of time, it was discovered and reassembled but not activated in 1990’s. In the years that passed its condition has been deteriorating, staying forgotten in a basement. Unsatisfied with the fact that a higher education institution like ours can't provide such a necessity as a telescope for astronomy students and scientists with the share will of one of our professors we decided to completely repair and reactivate this telescope. With a personal financial donation from this professor we managed to completely restore the physical properties of this telescope, repaint and polish all metal parts, and refurbish all mechanical components. Unfortunately the original focuser and oculars have been lost in time. Having set it up, we tried the telescope with a borrowed ocular.

So right now the telescope misses only one essential component – the ocular lenses and some small optics components like diagonal mirror and ocular light filters.

  Budget Breakdown

The funds will be used only for the purchase of small optics components in the following order:

1. Our first and necessary priority are the oculars:
1.25”   8mm Hyperion Ocular – 130 USD
1.25” 17mm Hyperion Ocular – 130 USD
1.25” 24mm Hyperion Ocular – 130 USD

2. Diagonal mirror 
1.25” diagonal mirror – 110 USD

 

 

  Risks and Challenges

Being and old observatory class telescope with a total weight of around 600kg the whole process of transportation and movement of the telescope was an “interesting” prospect. As the telescope has sustained damage from prior transportation the remanufacturing and refurbishing of the moving components was a long process but the guidance system of the telescope is now completely operational.

Pictures 2-4. Photos of the restoration process of the telescope.

Pictures 2-4. Photos of the restoration process of the telescope.

Picture 5. The maiden voyage of the restored telescope.

Picture 5. The maiden voyage of the restored telescope.

Team

Complete restoration of a telescope lost in time

Help fund oculars & small optics components to restore and reactivate an early 20th-century telescope “Secretan, Paris” in Skopje, F.Y.R.O.M