Home' Open Road Sydney North and North West : OR0916 Contents a robotic telescope, guests can walk back to their beds. The
observatory is also home to astronomy research and state-of-
the-art equipment that can take galactic images.
MOUNT STROMLO OBSERVATORY
Running since 1924, Mount Stromlo Observatory in the ACT is
another gem. It has a stable atmosphere (which creates clear images
and views) and low light pollution. During winter, the planets of our
solar system are on the must-see list and you might see the gas
bands on Jupiter and the rings of Saturn with a small telescope.
The observatory is open to the public, with regular tours and talks
on offer, including viewing opportunities through the telescopes.
Dark matter and dark energy make up about 95 per cent of
everything in the universe and scientists from Mount Stromlo
discovered both. Professor Brian Schmidt won a Nobel Prize for
leading the team that showed dark energy exists in our universe.
And Professor Ken Freeman, an astronomer, was a key player in
discovering dark matter.
Mount Stromlo owns a second site – Siding Spring Observatory.
It sits on the edge of the Warrumbungle National Park in Central
NSW and is also open to the public until 4pm daily.
Mount Stromlo Observatory is
open to the public and holds
free star gazing nights.
There you might see the gas
bands on Jupiter and the rings
of Saturn with a small telescope
18817 Barrier Highway, Broken Hill, NSW
Choose from a range of shows including
‘ Moon Feature’, ‘Milky Way Overview’ and
many more. Pricing is between $25 for
children and $55 for adults.
How to get there: It’s a 5.5km drive from
the city centre of Broken Hill.
CSIRO PARKES OBSERVATORY
585 Telescope Road, Parkes, NSW
The CSIRO visitor centre is open daily
from 8.30am to 4.15pm (except
Christmas Day and Boxing Day). Entry
to the visitor centre, telescope viewing
area and astronomy and space science
exhibition is free.
How to get there: It’s a 20km drive
north of Parkes off the Newell Highway
(the main highway linking Brisbane
and Melbourne that crosses central NSW).
BLUE MOUNTAINS OBSERVATORY
94 Rawson Parade, Leura, NSW
Astronomy tours are currently only
available to those hiring the cottage
(sleeps up to seven). Cottage prices start
at $205 per night. Astronomy tours cost
$350 for the group.
How to get there: Leura is about a
90-minute drive from Sydney.
MOUNT STROMLO OBSERVATORY
Cotter Road, Weston Creek, ACT
It holds various public astronomy nights
and daytime tours. Mount Stromlo
Observatory is open daily from 8am-6pm.
How to get there: It’s approximately 20
minutes’ drive from the Australian
National University campus in Canberra.
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