The 16" telescope was finally delivered on Thursday 23rd June 2005 and with
the help of Peter Gallon from Telescope
House who supplied the new telescope, the 12" and its pier were removed, the new pier was secured to the observatory floor and
the new fork assembly attached to the new wedge.
The lower part of the forks is shown above, the top part being integral with
the optical tube assembly (OTA) which was added later (see below).
Peter Gallon (right) and Peter Birtwhistle after lifting the OTA onto the
Below, the 16" is shown, having been connected to power, the CCD and pc and is ready
for polar alignment and other adjustments, such as Periodic Error Correction (PEC)
in the RA axis (which compensates for any slight mechanical imperfections in the
worm gear) and training the Meade Smart Mount (which allows for better pointing
accuracy by removing any systematic pointing errors).
Final commissioning of the 16" to accurately align the polar axis using
stars was done using PoleAlignMax
and by training the internal RA drive Periodic Error Correction setting.
First light was achieved on 27 June
2005 with an image of M51 and unknowingly picked up a pre-discovery image of a
Type-II supernova 2005cs on the rise!