Logo

Organising a Visit to Brayebrook Observatory

 

BRAYEBROOK OBSERVATORY

Brayebrook Observatory is an amateur astronomical observatory with a difference. It is also a not-for-profit organization and an educational facility. Many of the components and some of the instrumentation has been donated by industry.

The main telescope is a modified 10-inch f/10.6 Newtonian reflector originally manufactured by the famous Victorian telescope maker George Calver in 1894. It was completely restored during the mid 1980 's with the expert assistance of Ronald N. Irving of H.N. Irving & Son. The principal programme of observation is double star measurement using a large Grubb bifilar micrometer. However I also use the telescope for drawing and photographing the Moon & planets. To bring the Newtonian focus to a comfortable viewing position the tube assembly may be rotated in its cradle. An interchangeable Nasmyth-Cassegrain optic set is currently being made by Jim Hysom of Hytel Optics. This will have an f/12.8 - f/40 focus situated at the lower end of the tube, which will afford a more comfortable viewing position.

The second telescope is a 6-inch f/15 Maksutov-Cassegrain made by the Pennsylvanian firm. Optical Techniques. It has very fine optics and gives exquisite images. Because of its short tube length it is easy to use. It is ideal for general observing of all classes of astronomical objects.

The observatory boasts a fine array of ancilliary equipment, including a fully restored mid C19 th Troughton & Simms divided-lens double-image micrometer, a Beck microscope camera modified for Lunar & Planetary photography, and a binocular head.

The observatory and its telescopes are the culmination of almost two decades work, and the realisation of an ambition often frustrated by adverse circumstances. At the time of its initial design and construction it was one of the first semi-automatic domes in amateur hands in the UK & Europe, and it remains at the forefront of ATM technology. Visitors, be they individuals or society groups are always welcome.

C.J.R. Lord DPhil., B.Ed., F.R.A.S.
mobile 07802 963589

e-mail to arrange visit