Britain's Prince Charles officially opened the new GBP 9-million sterling (about 22 million U.S. dollars)?
Britain's Prince Charles officially opened the new GBP 9-million sterling (about 22 million U.S. dollars) Anglo-Australian optical telescope at the Siding Springs Observatory, Australia, on Wednesday (16 October). The telescope sits high on Spring Mountain -- 300 miles to the North West of Sydney -- and is part of a joint British-Australian Government venture to further exploration of the southern sky.
The 3.9-metre (153-inch) telescope is one of the largest in the world, exceeded in size only by the 5-metre (197-inch Palomar instrument in the United States and the giant 5.9-metre (226-inch) telescope in the U.S.S.R.
The Prince continued the low-key approach which has marked his 18-day Australian tour so far. He told his audience that he was sure the telescope's "astronomical cost" would be more than justified by the use made of it.
At the opening ceremony, Sir Fred Hoyle, British Chairman of the Anglo-Australian Telescope Board, said that the telescope would be available to scientists from Australia and Britain to study the sky around the southern celestial pole, which cannot be seen from the northern hemisphere.
Among the guests at the opening were Australia's Prime Minister, Mr. Gough Whitlam, and the Governor of South Australia, Sir. Mark Oliphant ... himself a renowned physicist.
Part of Prince Charles' opening speech appears on film. A transcript follows: