Richard van der riet Woolley (Director, Mt Stromlo Observatory) at his desk
|Collections||Commonwealth Solar Observatory (Mt Stromlo)|
|Title:||Richard van der riet Woolley (Director, Mt Stromlo Observatory) at his desk|
Richard van der riet Woolley was just 33 years old when he accepted the Directorship of the Commonwealth Solar Observatory in 1939. Recruited to the Optical Munitions Panel, he was charged with the design and manufacture of rangefinders, sights for anti-tank guns, and other optical devices. Woolley oversaw the transformation of Mt Stromlo from an Observatory to an Optical Munitions Factory. Following WWII, Woolley concentrated on shifting the Observatory from solar to stellar astronomy and administered the acquisition of four new telescopes, including the 74 inch telescope. He also oversaw the transfer of the Observatory to The Australian National University. Woolley resigned from the position of Director in 1955 to become Astronomer Royal of the United Kingdom until 1971.