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AUSTRALIAN ASTRONOMY Watchers of southern skies INDIGENOUS ASTRONOMY 40,000 years of astronomy Star patterns denoting animals & people Star calendar for finding food Sky myths for morality EUROPEAN ASTRONOMY BEGINS IN AUSTRALIA Venus transit gives solar system scale

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australian astronomy

AUSTRALIAN ASTRONOMY

Watchers of southern skies

indigenous astronomy
INDIGENOUS ASTRONOMY
  • 40,000 years of astronomy
  • Star patterns denoting animals & people
  • Star calendar for finding food
  • Sky myths for morality
european astronomy begins in australia
EUROPEAN ASTRONOMY BEGINS IN AUSTRALIA
  • Venus transit gives solar system scale
  • Cook & Charles Green to Tahiti & Australia
  • First Fleet & William Dawes’ observatory
  • La Perouse’s ill-fated astronomers
early astronomy around sydney
EARLY ASTRONOMY AROUND SYDNEY
  • 1821: Brisbane, Rumker, Dunlop found “Paramatta” Observatory
    • Catalogue of 7385 stars, comets etc
    • 1847: Closure after “fallings out”
  • 1858: Sydney Observatory founded
    • Time service, astronomy, geophysics, meteorology
19th century state observatories
19TH CENTURY STATE OBSERVATORIES
  • Hobart: geomagnetism, weather, astronomy
  • Melbourne: Carte du Ciel etc
  • Adelaide: mainly met., also transits
  • Qld (none) - surveying, time-keeping
  • Perth - Still operating today
great melbourne telescope
GREAT MELBOURNE TELESCOPE
  • 1869: 48” (1.2m) scope - world’s largest!
  • An Anglo-Australian venture built on gold
  • Telescope problems...
  • Moon, stars, nebulae observed
  • Sold for scrap - later “reborn”
early amateur astronomers
EARLY AMATEUR ASTRONOMERS
  • John Tebbutt (Windsor)
    • Comets, occultations, eclipses, asteroids, double stars etc
  • Edward Pigot (Riverview Observatory)
    • Weather-Sun connection, photography, variables etc
  • Many others, then and now...
mt stromlo
MT STROMLO
  • 1901: Federation & nationalising of science
  • 1924: Commonwealth Solar Observatory
  • WWII: optical manufacture
  • 1950s: From Sun to stars; ANU merger
  • 1950s: Bok “sells Galaxy” to students
  • 60s to today: Siding Spring’s 0.4m, 0.6m, 1m, 2.3m aperture telescopes...
early csiro radio astronomy
EARLY “CSIRO” RADIO ASTRONOMY
  • WWII radar development
  • Radiophysics Lab enters solar astronomy
  • Radio waves from the Galaxy & beyond
parkes culgoora radio telescopes
PARKES & CULGOORA RADIO TELESCOPES
  • 1961: Parkes
    • Giant 64m dish
    • Quasas, radiomaps, molecules, pulsars, Apollo, Giotto, SETI, etc
  • 1967: Culgoora solar radio telescope
    • An array of 96 small (13.7m) dishes
    • Solar image/sec for monitoring activity
    • 1984: closure - would you like a “free” dish?
univ sydney astronomy
UNIV. SYDNEY ASTRONOMY
  • 1912-1926 : Prof Cooke
  • WWII: optics not astronomy
  • 1952: Messel’s astronomy boom begins
  • Sydney Uni still very active today...
univ tasmania
UNIV. TASMANIA
  • 1927+: Prof McAulay terrorises Tas Uni admin into funding astronomy
  • Cosmic-ray astronomy
  • Optical astronomy
  • X-ray astronomy
  • Radio astronomy
univ adelaide
UNIV. ADELAIDE
  • Ultra-high energy cosmic rays
  • Meteor/asteroid astronomy
  • X-ray astronomy
  • Gamma rays (BIGRAT & CANGAROO)
  • Cosmology & astrophysics (Paul Davies)
astronomy at other australian unis
UNSW

ADFA

UWS

WOLLONGONG

MACQUARIE

MELBOURNE

MONASH

SWINBURNE

UWA & CURTIN (PARG)

UQ

USQ

ASTRONOMY AT OTHER AUSTRALIAN UNIS
anglo australian observatory
ANGLO-AUSTRALIAN OBSERVATORY
  • 3.9m AAT (1974)
  • 1.2m UKSTU (later AAO) Schmidt (1973)
  • Major optical bi-national facilities half-funded each by Australian & UK
australia telescope
AUSTRALIA TELESCOPE
  • ATNF
  • Parkes
  • ATCA (1988)
  • Major national radio astronomy facility
  • A telescope as wide as a continent (and beyond)
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