Cleaning, rebuilding, aligning

MMAO - A time for cleaning

Yesterday saw a multitude of tasks. I worked with students to mark the spots on the wall West wall where the new TV and white board will be mounted. Another group working with Ambassador Eliatosha disassembled an AWB Galileo reflector telescope, cleaned the primary and secondary mirrors, and reassembled it fully while another, in parallel, cleaned and rebuilt a Celestron refractor.

It is imperative to take note that none of these students have ever done anything like this before, most having never used a hex wrench or screwdriver. Without instruction, without any guidance on my behalf (other than how to clean mirrors with distilled water, and lenses with a special cloth), they were 100% successful. The capability of this next generation of Tanzanian’s is extraordinary. To not grant them to use their minds to the fullest is to waste a generation.

Ezikiel, Eliona, and I continued our work on aligning the base (as we have known it was not correctly installed). We spent most of the day transposing and comparing two triangles that share a common hypotenuse, built from the shadow of the sun at zenith (“high noon”). This method for finding polar north can be done by building a sundial or using this website ( to mark the shortest shadow and then lay down a parallel line. The equatorial axis must be parallel to this line, if it is to be parallel to the Earth’s axis.

We yet have quite a bit of work to do before this observatory is considered operational and the Ambassadors can be fully trained.

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