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The Australian National University

The Oddie Refractor

Oddie Dome, 1960s (Mt Stromlo Archives)

The Oddie Telescope was donated to the Commonwealth in 1909, and established at Stromlo in 1911.

The Oddie Dome was the first building on Mount Stromlo, and the first Commonwealth building in Canberra.

The 9-inch Oddie Refractor telescope was initially used to test the suitability of the site as an Observatory.

Astronomers later used the telescope to take spectra of southern stars, gathering information on their age, size and chemical composition; measure the orbits of binary stars; and search for remnants of supernovae in the Milky Way.

The Oddie was restored in the 1990s and served as the Observatory' premier public outreach telescope.

The telescope and dome were destroyed in the 2003 firestorm.

In 2011 the telescope was faithfully recreated for the 100th anniversary of its arrival on site.

Telescope details

  • Built: Thomas Grubb of Dublin, 1888
  • Erected on Mt Stromlo: 1911
  • Ceased: Destroyed by January 2003 Firestorm
  • Lens: 9" diameter doblet, corrected for visual observation
  • Focal ratio: f/15
  • Mount: German equatorial
  • Drive: Clockwork

Instruments used

  • Zeiss photographic plate camera
  • Prism spectrograph
  • Filar micrometer
  • Photoelectric photometer
  • Image tube camera

Notable research projects

  • Spectral classification of southern stars
  • Parameters of southern binary stars
  • Photometry of southern stars
  • Emission nebulae in the Magellanic Clouds
  • Search for supernova remnants in the Milky Way

Updated:  04 November 2014/Responsible Officer:  Director, Facilities & Services Division/Page Contact:  Systems & Information Technology