In 2017 we launched our second Patrons and Members’ Appeal, with a focus on the work of the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Our initial campaign had an ambitious target, seeking to raise £50,000 to turn the observatory back into a working observatory for the first time since the 1950s through the purchase of two new telescopes. The telescopes would enable us to communicate with audiences around the world, inspiring the public and capturing incredible moments in our skies.
With an original target of £50,000 this amazing project caught the imagination of our Members and Patrons whose generosity far exceeded our hopes generating over £170,000. This allowed us not only to purchase new telescopes but to restore the beautiful Grade II listed Altazimuth Pavilion building protecting it from the damp and decay it was suffering. This neglected gem which housed an historic instrument too large to be operated within a leaking dome was transformed from a state of disrepair into a state of the art observation facility allowing us to generate stunning imagery despite the light polluted setting, and to gather valuable scientific data.
The collection of four new telescopes which we were able to purchase through generous donations have been named the Annie Maunder Astrographic Telescope or AMAT recognising the work of human computer Annie Maunder who explored the night sky and its phenomena as an astronomer, astrophotographer and science communicator in Greenwich during the 1890s and early 20th Century. You can now visit the telescope and see it in action.
A huge thank you again to those of you who supported this campaign and helped us to become a working observatory and star-gazing hub for the first time in over 60 years, with special thanks to:
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