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What is the largest amateur telescope ever built?

Posted: 21 Apr 2018 04:00 AM PDT

Clements' telescope is even larger than the instrument built by William Herschel in the 1700s, which possessed a 126-cm (49.5-in) primary mirror

Clements' telescope is even larger than the instrument built by William Herschel in the 1700s, which possessed a 126-cm (49.5-in) primary mirror

Asked by Jasmine Isaacs

While many amateur astronomers would be happy with a moderately-sized 20- to 25-centimetre (eight- to ten-inch) telescope, the largest amateur telescope that has ever been built is a whopping 178 centimetres (70 inches) – currently the largest in the world.

Mike Clements from Utah built a telescope that has a mirror that was meant for a Cold War spy satellite. He obtained the mirror through an auction when the mirror wasn't discarded by the U.S. Department of Defense when they discovered that the edge of the mirror was slightly chipped. Clements then built the rest of the telescope from everyday materials, causing it to weigh in at a whopping 1,361 kilograms (3,000 pounds).

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