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Brush fire on mountaintop

Smoking behind the telescope
Smoke behind the LT at 1630 UT. Image from our webcam

There is a moderately large brush fire at the ORM. All telescopes and the Residencia have been safely evacuated. As of 1600 UT the fire had reached the main Garafia Road below the Residencia but was not moving up the hill towards the LT. Those still on site say they do not currently have any concerns for any of the telescopes. Conditions could change but they do not believe there is a threat to the LT site. There are reports of a much bigger fire moving up through the forest from the Garafia direction.

The telescope and cameras are powered off, and needless to say there won't be any observing tonight.

Downtime scheduled 18 September

Assuming there's a telescope left to visit (see story above), Telescope Technologies Limited (TTL), who built the LT as its first-off-the-line protoype model, will be visiting the LT commencing 18th September to begin maintenance work. This is projected to last 2 to 3 weeks.

The list of jobs includes:

  • re-aluminising the primary mirror
  • installing enhanced encoders on the secondary mirror focussing mechanism
  • installing additional actuators on the primary mirror
  • testing the cassegrain axis rotator assembly
  • installing the cryotiger pipes into the cassegrain cable wrap
  • fitting the autoguider