The James Gregory Telescope is the product of two decades of planning and construction. Almost all components of the telescopes have been manufactured in Scotland. The telescope has now been in operation for more than fifty years. Hundreds of researchers have worked with this telescope. Even more students have learned the art of observing in the dome of the JGT. More than fifty peer-reviewed papers have directly resulted from these observations, many more have indirectly benefitted. What follows is a handdrawn sketch of the JGT interior, showing the intricate details of a large astronomical telescope (click to enlarge).


Current setup

maximum aperture 37″ (used at ~33″), typical limiting magnitude for 1% photometry R~14,  focal plane in the primary mirror cavity, Starlight XPress Trius detector 4Kx3K operated at -30 degrees C (Peltier cooled), field of view about 50’x40′, operated with a single filter, filters BVRI available, autoguider camera at auxiliary 8 cm refractor, automatic dome tracking


Project Director : E. Finlay-Freundlich (1951-1959), D. W. N. Stibbs (1959-1962), Napier Professor of Astronomy, University of St Andrews

Optical Surfaces, Telescope Tube, and Optics Mountings: R. L. Waland, with assistance from J. Cisar and C. Craib

Design of Telescope Mounting: W. Stewart, F. D. Abbott, Dept. of Engineering, Queen’s College, Dundee

Manufacture of Mounting: Harland Engineering Co. Ltd, Alloa

Electro-mechanical Control of Telescope Pointing and Tracking: Barr & Stroud Co. Ltd., Glasgow

Optical Design: E. H. Linfoot, John Couch-Adams Astronomer, The Observatories, University of Cambridge

Glass supplied by Pilkington Brothers, St Helens (mirrors) and Schott, Jena (corrector plate)

Funded by: University of St Andrews, Education (Scotland) Fund, The Carnegie Trust, The Robert Cormack Bequest Fund of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, University Grants Committee of the UK Goverment, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research

Upgrade and refurbishment 2010-2014 funded by: Elizabeth Lumsden Bequest, Spanoptics Ltd, Science & Technology Facilities Council, University of St Andrews

Current version of the inofficial manual for the JGT (2019): download here