Sunday, January 19, 2003

I see also that the Mt Stromlo astronomical observatory near Canberra has been destroyed . This belonged to the Australian National University (ANU) and was the most important astronomical observatory in Australia in the first half of the twentieth century, but from an astronomical point of view it has become less useful in recent decades as the city of Canberra and the resulting light pollution has grown. The most important (light) astronomical site in Australia today is at Siding Springs, near Coonabarabran, which hosts both the ANU's main observatory, and the Anglo-Australian Observatory , which jointly belongs to the British and Australian governments. Both observatories at Siding Springs have a number of telescopes. At least one of the ANU telescopes was previously sited at Mt Stromlo but was moved due to the better light conditions at Siding Springs.

This all meant that Mt Stromlo was in recent years mostly a training facility. It also had a major function in getting young people in Australia enthused about astronomy. As someone who went to a National Science Summer School in Canberra when a high school student quite a few years ago, I remember a night tour of the observatory being one of the highlights.

This is terrible.

No comments:

Blog Archive