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Brisbane, Sir Thomas Makdougall  [baronet] (1773–1860), born at Brisbane House, Largs, Ayrshire, a soldier, colonial governor and astronomer. Serving in the Peninsular Campaign during the Napoleonic Wars he established an observatory at his home at Largs.  Later he was appointed colonial governor for New South Wales, Australia.  Here he established the Paramatta Observatory, near Sydney, the first permanent observing site in Australia.  His observation in his so-called ‘Brisbane Catalogue’ earned him the gold medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1828 (see Roxburghshire; ODNB).

Waddell, Peter Hately [Rev., MA, FRAS] (1854-1922), born Girvan, lecturer (see ODNB; observatory East Lothian).


Brisbane’s Largs Observatory [BOBH] (1808-61), Brisbane House,nr. Largs, established by Sir Thomas Brisbane on the family estate. The observatory was equipped with a 4½-foot transit and 18-inch altazimuth both by Edward Troughton (1808), with a 2-foot mural circle (1811), also by Troughton along with a regulator clock.  The observatory was closed after he went oversseas being appointed Australian colonial governor for New South Wales (Howse 1986; Gavine 1981,  279-86; Morrison-Lowe 2004).

Scottish Dark Sky Park Observatory [SDSPO] (2012- ), nr. Dalmellington, established by East Ayr Council. The two-story building houses a 20-inch Dall-Kirkham reflector under a dome (research) and a 14-inch SCT Catadioptric telescope under a run-off roof for public viewing and outreach.

Astronomy Groups

Ayrshire Astronomical Society (AyrAS), founded (?).  Members meet monthly (4th Mon., Sept.-may) at The Academy,off Shawfarm Road, Prestwick.

Doon Valley Astronomical Society (DVAS), founded (?).  Members have held meetings at Dalmellington Community Centre (group appears defunct of 2018).

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