gill_rev_transit

Reversible Transit Circle

6  inch Telescope (15 cm)

 RevTCircle_15c6i_-01at

Index:

Summary; History; Current; Technical; Sources; Links; Gallery:

In brief

Important  Contributions:
This  telescope was for a long time the only active transit instrument in the Southern Hemisphere.

Description:

  • Designed by David Gill. Became the pattern for most transit circles made since.
  • This telescope was in continuous use for observing the planets and selected  stars to provide a fundamental system of star positions which is the observational basis of dynamic astronomy, accurate geodesy and of the determination of stellar  motions.
  • Instrument was the main source for the southern portion of the Fundamental  Katalog (FK4)

Historical Background

Owner:
Cape Observatory

Where  Located:
Cape Observatory

Current Information

Present  Location:
S.A.A.O. (used to be the Cape Observatory)

Owner:
S.A.A.O.

Status:

Condition:

Technical Details

Type: Refractor
Aperture: 6 inch (15.24 cm)
Focal Length:
Lens:
Mounting:
Attachments:
Manufacturer: Troughton and Simms. [Laing, p.13.]
Maintenance:

  • Completed  1905 [Laing, p.29.]
  • The  instrument was modernised in 1950 and 1960 [Laing, p.17; p. 9.]

Sources

Documentation:

Pictorial Sources:

  • Laing,  J.D. (ed.), The Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope 1820 – 1970 Sesquicentennial Offerings.

Bibliography:

  • Collins,  P. & Moore, P.; Astronomy in Southern Africa, p79.
  • Laing,  J.D. (ed.), The Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope 1820 – 1970 Sesquicentennial Offerings, p.13; p.17; p.29.
  • Smits, P., A Brief History of Astronomy in Southern Africa. (Unpublished)

Links

Gallery

RevTCircle_15c6i_-01a
Reversible Transit Circle.
Photo Credit: Charles Field, Wynberg. Source: Laing.

RevTCircle_15c6i_-02r   RevTCircle_15c6i_-03r
Alexander Menzies at the eyepiece.
Source: A.S.S.A. Archives: Peter Smits Collection.

RevTCircle_15c6i_Dome-02r
The Dome of the Reversible Transit Circle.

Source: A.S.S.A. Archives: Peter Smits Collection.

RevTCircle_15c6i_Dome-01
Part of a compilation of sketches concerning the Cape Observatory.
Published by “The Cape Times”, 19 September 1908. Source:Warner – Astronomers.