The Duncan telescope in the observatory

Interviews with inanimate objects: Telescope

There are fascinating statues, artifacts and fun objects located all over the University of Saskatchewan campus. Get to know them a little better with this year’s On Campus News back page feature: Interviews with inanimate objects.

By Lesley Porter

Location: U of S Observatory, on Wiggins Avenue across the street from the Health Sciences Building

What are you?
I’m a three-metre long refracting telescope. I am sometimes referred to as the Duncan telescope. 

How old are you?
I have been on campus since 1928, when the observatory was first built. 

What can you see?
My six-inch diameter lens is capable of seeing as far as a thousand light years away within the Orion constellation. If city light pollution wasn’t a factor, I could see some galaxies over two million light years away. 

What can we see during the summer months?
Saturn, in all its ringed glory, is quite visible. The colourful Ring Nebula is another sight to see. 

When is the best time to stargaze in Saskatchewan?
Nothing beats the fall, when nights are long and it’s still warm out. 

Tell me about a busy time in your life.
In the fall of 1985, over a thousand people lined up outside to catch a glimpse of Halley’s comet. I am also popular during eclipses and the transits of planets, such as Venus and Mercury.


Information and photograph provided by Stan Shadick, Department of Physics and Engineering Physics, College of Arts and Science