We interrupt our irregularly-scheduled programming for an advertisement…
Christchurch people (and anyone else who just likes to help preserve cool historic things): If any of you have fond memories of visiting the telescope in the Arts Centre Observatory on a Friday night, you might want to contribute to this fundraiser to help restore the telescope.
It was badly damaged when the building collapsed in the February 2011 earthquake (and even more badly damaged by a digger clearing the rubble…), but incredibly, the main lens survived completely unscathed. I got to visit the workshop in the Astronomy department at UC where one of the technicians is working on restoring the telescope, and it was amazing to hear how much work is going to need to go into repairing the parts, but how excited he is to do the work.
Built in 1864, it was a gorgeous piece of machinery, and he thinks it can be again, given time and money to do the repairs. Every little bit helps, so donate if you can, and share this with your friends.