Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Sheepshanks Equatorial

A9701-2 The Sheepshanks Equatorial telescope in the Altazimuth Pavilion, c.1960s © NMM


The Sheepshanks Equatorial is a 6.7-inch refracting telescope with an object glass (OG) by Cauchoix of Paris and mounting by F. Grubb. The OG was donated to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich in 1837 by Richard Sheepshanks (1794-1855), an astronomer who was then Secretary of the Royal Astronomical Society. It was used regularly for the observation of comets, occultations, double-stars and planetary measurement. It was placed in the South Dome, originally built for the Shuckburgh telescope in 1813. This dome can still be seen, just to the east of the Prime Meridian and the Airy Transit Circle. The telescope remained in this position until it was moved to the Altazimuth Pavilion in 1963 and it is now in the museum's stores. See the National Maritime Museum's Collections Online for a more detailed description of this telescope.

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