The 16 inch telescope was erected on the site in 1993. Originally the property of one of the members, it was erected on the basis that the owner could use the telescope more frequently than when it was in their back garden. In return it was made available to members of the Group. Several years later it was sold to the Group and the following year completely refurbished.
The telescope was originally purchased by the owner as a 16 inch f4.5 Meade Deep Sky telescope on a Mk IV German equatorial mount. Following refurbishment by the Group the tube assembly replaced with a modern surrerier truss, the telescope mount replaced with an equatorial fork mount and computer controlled.
Additionally the dome was modified by widening the shutter opening.
To make observing easier, many accessories have been added to the telescope in the intervening years. Such additions include a larger focuser, a smaller refractor telescope mounted on top of the tube for dual observing (ideal for solar observing) and attachment ports for Web cams and cameras.
This telescope is frequently used by members as it offers good light grasp in a telescope that is relatively easy to handle. The computer control permits acquisition of faint objects with a CCD Camera that is not normally visible by simply looking through the telescope.
The 'fast' optical system makes this telescope ideal for viewing objects outside of our solar system. It gives superb wide angle views of the night sky, ideal for viewing open clusters, globular clusters and comets. Despite this, the telescope can still be pressed into action with observations of the moon and planets with good results.