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 Washburn telescope optics get 130-year checkup, cleaning

Bit by bit over the last two decades, the University of Wisconsin-Madison's iconic Washburn Observatory has been restored to its original sheen.
The dome was refurbished in the 1990s and the building itself was restored and updated in 2009. And this week, a final but crucial touch up - the cleaning and refurbishment of the glass lenses and the brass cell that holds them in the 240-inch-long telescope tube - was completed with the help of John Augustine, an antique instrument specialist from Parkman, Ohio.

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The Washburn Observatory, overlooking Lake Mendota on the UW-Madison campus, was once the premier astronomical research facility in Wisconsin. Built in 1881, the observatory has a 15-inch refracting telescope, but is no longer used for research. The largest refracting telescope in Wisconsin, and, in fact, the world, is the 1897 vintage 40-inch telescope at the Yerkes Observatory in Lake Geneva.
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Historic Washburn Observatory to re-open after renovations
The historic Washburn Observatory, new home to the College of Letters & Science Honours program, will open this month after two years of renovation.


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Historic Washburn Observatory prepares to reopen
The Washburn Observatory, the University of Wisconsin-Madison's gate to the heavens, will open later this month following a careful two-year renovation that preserved its hilltop charm and historic significance.
An open house to mark the privately funded renovation of the 128-year-old observatory atop Observatory Hill will be held from 2-4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11.

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Renovated Washburn Observatory soon will reopen on University of Wisconsin campus
Thousands have tromped up its stairs to get a closer look at the heavens.
And earlier this summer, campus travellers swore at it for forcing another detour.
For its age and history, the Washburn Observatory atop Observatory Drive remains a lively part of Madisons cityscape. Within just a few weeks, Old Washburn, as it has been fondly called, will be reopened after a two-year renovation and restoration.

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