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Cross-sectional diagram of the AAT dome

Tags: AAT, dome

This excellent diagram was originally made for an article about the AAT in Australian Geographic magazine by Oliver Rennert and is used with his permission. It reveals an unusual and complex building, made for a special purpose. 

The telescope is seen here from the south east, pointing north, with the prime focus cage (black) mounted on the top end. It used to be used mainly for photography. On the dome floor are other top ends, which effectively change the telescope's focal length, allowing heaver instruments to be mounted on the Cassegrain focus at the other end of the telescope.

The control room is on the northern side of the building at the same level. Beneath it, the most obvious structures are the cylindrical vacuum chamber for coating the AAT's primary mirror, and the lift shaft to the visitor's gallery.

Credit: Oliver Rennert

© Oliver Rennert