Britain's Prince Charles officially opened the new GBP 9-million sterling (about 22 million U.S. dollars)?
GV EXT Telescope housing
CU INT Telescope
SV EXT Rotating roof
SV INT Prince Charles on gallery looking at telescope
SV PAN DOWN FROM Telescope TO ceremony on ground floor
STV Prince Charles speaks
PRINCE CHARLES: "The nearest I've ever come to astronomy is astral navigation, and I cannot claim that to be my favourite or most skilful occupation. As I am sure you will all realise, if you make one mistake with the operation of a sextant, or a small miscalculation when you come to work out your sights, then your resultant position on the plotting sheet can be out as much as a whole degree of latitude. The ensuing embarrassment is intense if this leads to missing, for example, the island of Bermuda (LAUGHTER) or hitting Canada rather than the United States of America. So you can perhaps see that a period of instruction here could be most beneficial to one on the Royal Navy's worst navigators."
Initials BB/1836 EW/MR/BB/1856
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Britain's Prince Charles officially opened the new GBP 9-million sterling (about 22 million U.S. dollars) Anglo-Australian optical telescope at the Siding Springs Observatory, Australia, on Wednesday (16 October). The telescope sits high on Spring Mountain -- 300 miles to the North West of Sydney -- and is part of a joint British-Australian Government venture to further exploration of the southern sky.
The 3.9-metre (153-inch) telescope is one of the largest in the world, exceeded in size only by the 5-metre (197-inch Palomar instrument in the United States and the giant 5.9-metre (226-inch) telescope in the U.S.S.R.
The Prince continued the low-key approach which has marked his 18-day Australian tour so far. He told his audience that he was sure the telescope's "astronomical cost" would be more than justified by the use made of it.
At the opening ceremony, Sir Fred Hoyle, British Chairman of the Anglo-Australian Telescope Board, said that the telescope would be available to scientists from Australia and Britain to study the sky around the southern celestial pole, which cannot be seen from the northern hemisphere.
Among the guests at the opening were Australia's Prime Minister, Mr. Gough Whitlam, and the Governor of South Australia, Sir. Mark Oliphant ... himself a renowned physicist.
Part of Prince Charles' opening speech appears on film. A transcript follows: