Paul Wild Observatory - Narrabri


Located 25km out of Narrabri, which is 420km north-west of Sydney, Paul Wild Observatory is home to one of the world’s most advanced radio telescopes – the Australia Telescope Compact Array. Belonging to the CSIRO the six 22m antennae observe star formation, the late stages of stars’ lives, supernovae and magnetic fields.

The Compact Array is a part of the Australia Telescope National Facility network of radio telescopes. The array is frequently operated together with other CSIRO telescopes, the 64-metre (210 ft) dish at the Parkes Observatory and a single 22-metre (72 ft) dish at Mopra (near Coonabarabran), to form a very long baseline interferometry array.

The Array welcomes visitors from the general public. The facility includes a Visitor's Centre where the operations of the array can be observed in comfort. The surrounding grounds have displays and activities for all to enjoy.


Siding Spring Observatory – Coonabarabran


The Siding Spring site was selected in 1962 from many other possible locations because of the dark and cloud-free skies.

The Siding Spring Observatory at Coonabarabran, about 350km north-west of Sydney, became fully Australian owned in 2010 – it had begun in 1967 as a joint venture with the UK and was the first major telescope in the Southern Hemisphere. Siding Spring Observatory also houses many telescopes from institutions across the world including, Korea, America, the UK, Poland, Hungary, Germany and Russia.

Siding Spring Observatory (SSO), on the edge of the Warrumbungle National Park near Coonabarabran, NSW, is Australia's premier optical and infrared astronomical observatory. Research carried out at SSO is varied, from probing the depths of the cosmos in search of "Dark Energy" to searching the Milky Way for other planets and signs of life. Nearly every night there's something new being done and new discoveries being made.

The Anglo-Australian Telescope there has made significant contributions to the discovery of exoplanets (alien worlds orbiting other stars) and held the record for finding the farthest object known to man on a number of occasions.

There is a visitors' gallery and exhibition area open to the public which also incorporates a café and souvenir shop.


Historic Sydney Observatory


Historic Sydney Observatory, built in 1858 on Observatory Hill in The Rocks, Sydney. A heritage-listed meteorological station, astronomical observatory is a working museum where evening visitors can observe the stars and planets through a modern 40cm schmidt-cassegrain telescope and a historic 29cm refractor telescope (built in 1874). This is the oldest Australian telescope in regular use.

Explore the highlights of the southern sky on a night tour at Sydney’s oldest observatory. Use the observatory’s telescopes to see the stars, Moon, a nebula, Mars or the planets during this quintessential Sydney experience.


Parkes Observatory – The Dish


Just outside the town of Parkes in the central-west region of New South Wales, about 380 kilometres from Sydney, is our Parkes radio telescope. It's one of three instruments that make up the Australia Telescope National Facility.

With a diameter of 64 metres, Parkes is one of the largest single-dish telescopes in the southern hemisphere dedicated to astronomy. It started operating in 1961, but only its basic structure has remained unchanged.

The surface, control system, focus cabin, receivers, computers and cabling have all been upgraded – some parts many times – to keep the telescope at the cutting edge of radio astronomy. The telescope is now 10 000 times more sensitive than when it was commissioned.

Parkes radio telescope was one of the first to be built as a big, movable dish. The moving part of the telescope weighs 1000 tonnes – as much as two Boeing 747s – but it is not fixed to the tower. Instead, the giant dish sits on top of the control tower with its own weight holding it down. From our dedicated viewing area you can watch as the dish moves, controlled by astronomers as they explore the Universe.


Canberra Space Network


Sydney to Canberra is approximately 3hrs by car or 40 mins by plane.

Come and learn about the amazing work being done by Australians, and the incredible missions that are revealing the secrets of the Universe. The Canberra Space Centre is a unique and informative learning environment for everyone.

The Canberra Space Centre (CSC) is located on the grounds of the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (CDSCC) at Tidbinbilla, about 35 kms southwest of the city of Canberra.


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