That was a very successful event. Live streaming went well and hundreds of visitors looked through our telescopes outside. We got clouded out at the end but we got through maximum so that was a real success considering we thought we would be totally clouded out a couple of days before. The partial eclipse was totally eclipsed for a short time by the Nelson Monument. Really great to get the Cooke back into use again after such a long time.
Vice President Andrew Farrow was heavily involved in this whole process. Here’s some thoughts from him on the event:
A few thoughts on the revival of the Cooke telescope on Calton hill and the partial eclipse event.
It was a joy to see the Cooke telescope back in action on Tuesday morning providing a view of the partial eclipse to a wide and appreciative audience as the images were broadcast on our YouTube channel.
To see members coming back up the stairs to greet, what is to many, an old friend which had inspired them many years before was a delight. Although the opportunity for members spending time in the dome was short on this occasion it was the first step on the road to utilise this iconic telescope once again to promote and inspire interest in astronomy. For me and those that had the opportunity to handle some of the dome guide ropes and feel history in their hands was a real privilege.
The day was a culmination of the many Society discussions and subsequent meetings with the very accommodating and supportive Collective management team and City Museum department. All this enabled the restoration and preparation work to be completed by Jim Anderson. I cannot thank Jim enough although I know it was a labour of love on his part.
Once again the technological skills of our President, Mark, enabled a large and international audience to see the eclipse of the sun (and the short eclipse of Nelson’s monument of the view!). The occasion also provided Mark with a number of media appearances fulfilling our mission to inform and educate the public on astronomy which he did with aplomb.
The opportunity for the public on Calton hill to see the eclipse provided by a large contingent of members with dedicated solar and solar adapted scopes as well as solar glasses was extremely well delivered. The people I talked to enjoyed the experience and sounded very grateful. Thank you to all.
However this is just the beginning of the journey to bring the Cooke back into action. I hope you are looking forward as I am, to see this fine instrument back inspiring a new generation.
Here are some pictures from the event and you can see the video of the livestream down below.
Main image: Will Joy
Other images: Andrew Farrow, Ramsay McIver, Mark Phillips, Ian Smith