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A Visit to the Museum of Astronomical Telescopes in Japan!

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#1 davidmcgo

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 08:35 AM

I had a bucket list visit to the Museum of Astronomical Telescopes in Kagawa Prefecture in Japan this past weekend.  The museum is still being finished and not fully open yet but the Director, Mr. Shosaku Murayama gave us the full tour and I will have a full article submitted shortly.

 

In the mean time, here are a few pictures to get you all excited!  The two main telescopes in the roll off roof are a 10" Goto refractor and a 16" Mikage reflector!

 

The museum web site is all in Japanese and is www.telescope-museum.com

 

Dave

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Edited by davidmcgo, 05 February 2016 - 08:41 AM.


#2 dyslexic nam

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 08:40 AM

Apparently iPads are drool resistant.

 

Very nice - that would be a really amazing place to visit.



#3 Chuck Hards

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 09:28 AM

A Japanese national treasure!  Looking forward to your article.  

 

I love the low-rider design on the reflector.



#4 Lew Chilton

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 01:04 PM

Wow!!

#5 Astrojensen

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 02:03 PM

That is just insanely ridiculously awesome. I'll have to find a way to go there and see it for myself. Being the one on CN who called attention to it, I just have to. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark



#6 blind astronomer

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 02:06 PM

 Can you ship one of those to my house?



#7 Chuck Hards

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 05:32 PM

Japan probably had warehouses and tankers full of surplus "battleship grey" paint left over after the war, which might explain the color of those Nikon mounts.

 

They even look like they could be sitting on the deck of a cruiser.  At a distance it would look just like an AA gun.



#8 Astrojensen

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 05:35 PM

Japan probably had warehouses and tankers full of surplus "battleship grey" paint left over after the war, which might explain the color of those Nikon mounts.

 

They even look like they could be sitting on the deck of a cruiser.  At a distance it would look just like an AA gun.

Or they, again, looked at their big idol, Zeiss, which made scopes furnished in exactly the same color. 

 

Germany had big surplus supplies of battleship grey too, of course...

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark



#9 tim53

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 06:32 PM

Japan probably had warehouses and tankers full of surplus "battleship grey" paint left over after the war, which might explain the color of those Nikon mounts.

 

They even look like they could be sitting on the deck of a cruiser.  At a distance it would look just like an AA gun.

Sidebar:  According to the late Peter Manly, in his book "Unusual Telescopes", the Great Treptow refractor in Germany was damaged by allied bombing because it looks like a big gun from the air.  http://www.sdtb.de/A...tory.466.0.html



#10 rogue river art

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 07:37 PM

 

Japan probably had warehouses and tankers full of surplus "battleship grey" paint left over after the war, which might explain the color of those Nikon mounts.

 

They even look like they could be sitting on the deck of a cruiser.  At a distance it would look just like an AA gun.

Sidebar:  According to the late Peter Manly, in his book "Unusual Telescopes", the Great Treptow refractor in Germany was damaged by allied bombing because it looks like a big gun from the air.  http://www.sdtb.de/A...tory.466.0.html

You really think it looks like a gun?  Maybe a 16" cannon.  Those scopes in Japan got me drooling all over my laptop.



#11 Terra Nova

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 07:52 PM

Love it! I gotta go next time I am in Japan!

#12 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 07:49 AM

Wouldn't mind spending a week or two there.  :drool5: Do they still use any of those scopes? 

 

Rich (RLTYS)



#13 Adam S

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 01:41 PM

Art and science rolled into one.  Thanks for posting this.



#14 Astrojensen

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 02:43 PM

Wouldn't mind spending a week or two there.  :drool5: Do they still use any of those scopes? 

 

Rich (RLTYS)

Yes. They hold observing evenings for the public, according to their homepage. You can also see in the first photo in this thread that there's no roof on the building, which means it must be a roll-off roof observatory. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark



#15 mikey cee

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 03:43 PM

If they want to open up  a branch museum here in the States there will be plenty of room at our new home site.....especially for a 10" Goto!   :drool5:  Mike



#16 combatdad

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 06:47 PM

Hope you got some photos of their 6" Polarex/Unitron's.  Understand they have two: one complete on fixed pier and a second OTA: http://www.telescope...om/?page_id=619.

 

Dave



#17 davidmcgo

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 06:55 PM

Yes, they do have 2 6" Unitrons and many other delights. My full article draft is off to the museum director for an opportunity to correct anything I misquoted.

I completely filled my memory card in the visit and had to switch to my wife's camera.

Regular viewing is planned with more than the scopes in the roll off.

I hope to be able to submit once back in the states from Taiwan.

Dave

#18 Stephen Kennedy

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 10:31 PM

I love my 210 mm (8.3") Mikage Reflector.

IMG_1168.JPG

The 23 kg Mikage OTA alone cost me 250,000 yen when I purchased it new in 1988. The 430 mm (17") Mikage OTA alone is 140 kg and the GEM is another 600 kg. Mikage is no longer in the telescope business but in the 1980s they produced some truly magnificent telescopes. Most were sold to universities and municipal or prefectural science centers. I was lucky as an individual to be able to purchase one.

#19 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 02:39 PM

Gorgeous! If I were a billionaire, I would fly everyone there for a star party, and I would donate the money to install roll-off rooves on every gallery in the museum! 



#20 TCW

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 03:08 PM

Where did they find all these treasures? I could not find one scope like that if I devoted all my time to searching much less dozens.   :bow:



#21 Astrojensen

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 03:31 PM

A lot of them were donated (if not all of them), some by observatories that no longer needed them, because they were to be shut down or had upgraded to bigger scopes, some by amateurs. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark



#22 davidmcgo

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 10:44 AM

Hi All,

 

My article is now posted:

 

http://www.cloudynig...telescope-r3040

 

Happy reading!

 

Dave



#23 catboat

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 10:51 AM

Great!  Thanks so much.



#24 michael h

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 01:49 PM

Impressive does not even come close to describe the treasure that they have there.

 

Thanks

Mike H



#25 combatdad

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 02:18 PM

Great article, Dave!  Thanks for taking the time to draft and share!!  What an experience that must have been.

 

Dave




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