Views from the Top

The road up to the telescope domes.

Radcliffe Telescope dome, flanked by the 20 inch and 40 inch telscope domes in the background.

Radcliffe entranceway, with SALT in the background.

About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.
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4 Responses to Views from the Top

  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh, well, I didn’t really expect to be asked, but the first thing is you need to take the photos at sunrise or sunset – the light is so much better then!
    Secondly, if you have a tripod, use it! if you don’t, use anything you can to steady the camera, especially at sunrise or sunset as you’ll need some longish exposures to get a good picture. I can’t remember now, but I don’t think there are too many things you can use to sit a camera on at SAAO, but if there is (a bench/table/anything) is makes a huge difference because the picture is so much sharper.
    Thirdly, and this is a kind of arty thing, what I try to do is use the sky or background as the important thing and have the telescope/observatory there as a point of reference, so put the dome off to the side of the picture and make sure the wonderful SA sunset or sunrise can be seen.
    Wish I was there again. I had a wonderful time observing with the Radcliffe 15 or 16 years ago and would love to go again. It’s a very special place.
    I hope the run goes well but I know how frustrating the weather can be!

  2. sandalfon says:

    These are so darn cool. I am really happy that get to have this experience.

  3. invaderxan says:

    To be honest, I don’t know. I was under the impression it hadn’t changed much, but I could probably be wrong… It certainly is an excellent design. Testament to that is the fact that it still works perfectly well!
    And, my friend, I would always welcome any tips on photographing observatories from you. What would you suggest…? :)

  4. Anonymous says:

    Has the Radcliffe dome changed over the last 15 years or so? I don’t remember it looking like Subaru so much but I’m an old guy with memory issues.
    I seem to remember it being more traditionally shaped.
    The Radcliffe-type telescope used to be found in several places around the world, it was an excellent design. Sadly, I think the one in Stromlo was destroyed by fire a few years ago (I used both the one at SAAO and Stromlo).
    Hope the weather improves and if you want some tips on photographing observatories, let me know! ;)

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