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The biggest radio telescope in the world

In the past, astronomers explored the universe with their eyes and optical telescopes, but what they could see was limited. Find out how radio telescopes have revolutionised the way astronomers 'see' the universe, allowing us to explore deeper into space than ever before.Watch this clip to learn about Australia's contribution ...

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Photograph - Great Melbourne Telescope, c1870

This is a black-and-white photograph showing the Great Melbourne Telescope at Melbourne Observatory, 1870s-1880s.

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Photograph - eight-inch transit telescope, Melbourne Observatory, c1890

This is a black-and-white photograph showing the eight-inch transit telescope erected in the East Transit Room at Melbourne Observatory.

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Australia's deep space research

Did you know that Australia is home to one of the three NASA Deep Space Network facilities? Watch this clip to find out about some of the ground-breaking research on the solar system being undertaken at the Tidbinbilla facility. Discover why Australia was chosen to participate in the Deep Space Network (DSN).

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Parkes Observatory during Moonwalk, 1969

This is a black-and-white photograph of Australian and American scientists at Australia's National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Parkes, New South Wales, during the Apollo 11 Moon landing in July 1969. Four men are grouped in front of a bank of instruments and dials. From front to back are Wilson Hunter, National Aeronautics ...

StillImage

Reproduction of telescope presented by Galileo in 1609

This reproduction of Galileo's gold-decorated presentation telescope was made by the Massachusetts company of Antiques of Science and Technology in 2009. Created from leather, glass and more than 100 pieces of wood, it very precisely replicates the dimensions and materials of the original. The objective lens of the replica ...

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Birth of radio astronomy

Did you know that some of the most ground-breaking scientific discoveries were made by chance (serendipity)? Discover the link between static on a telephone line and the invention of the radio telescope that has helped scientists find new clues to the origin of the universe.

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Gamma rays and space balloons

Have you ever wondered how scientists know so much about the universe when it's too far away to see and no one has ever been there? It's not just by using telescopes based on Earth. Watch as an international team of astrophysicists and engineers attempt to launch a balloon high into the atmosphere, loaded with expensive ...

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Square Kilometre Array (SKA), 2011

Find out about Australia's super science project - the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). Listen to astronomy experts discuss Australia's bid to be the home of the world's first SKA (telescope). See the telescope Australian scientists built to demonstrate their technological capabilities and help secure the bid. Find out what ...

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SKA to help unlock the secrets of the universe

Radio astronomy is on the verge of developing groundbreaking technology that will allow scientists to see into the furthest reaches of the universe. The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be the most powerful radio telescope ever built. See how it has been designed and the developments that have been made so far.

Interactive resource

Far out lenses

Look at the Moon through a simple telescope. Adjust the focal length of two convex lenses and compare the results. Explore relationships between optical variables such as focal length, position of objective lens, convexity, image inversion and lens size. This learning object is one in a series of two learning objects. The ...

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South celestial pole and the Anglo-Australian Telescope

This is an unguided south-facing long-exposure colour photograph of star trails at night, taken from the site of the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT). A background of uninterrupted narrow concentric arcs of light of unequal length and brightness proclaim an imaginary centre above the local horizon. Most trails appear white, ...

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The Great Samrat yantra, Jaipur, India

This is a colour photograph, taken facing north-east, of the Great Samrat yantra ('supreme instrument'), one of the masonry instruments comprising the Jantar Mantar astronomical observatory in Jaipur, India. The instrument functions as a sundial - the sloping wall on the right is aligned precisely north-south so that it ...

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Small Samrat yantra, Jaipur, India

This is a colour photograph, taken facing west, of the small Samrat yantra ('supreme instrument'), one of the masonry instruments comprising the Jantar Mantar astronomical observatory in Jaipur, India. The instrument functions as a sundial - the wall, with its two slopes, is aligned precisely north-south so that it casts ...

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Jaya Prakasa yantra, Jaipur, India

These are two colour photographs showing the two sunken hemispheres comprising the Jaya Prakasa yantra, a masonry instrument that is part of the Jantar Mantar astronomical observatory in Jaipur, India. The bottom photograph, taken facing roughly northwards, shows both of the bowls, with several other instruments visible ...

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Nadivalaya yantra, Jaipur, India

This is a colour photograph, taken facing east, of the Nadivalaya yantra, one of the masonry instruments comprising the Jantar Mantar astronomical observatory in Jaipur, India. The instrument functions as a sundial with two faces, one directed north, the other south. In this image, only the southern face is visible. The ...

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Rama yantra, Jaipur, India

This is a colour photograph of the two structures comprising the Rama yantra, one of the masonry instruments of the Jantar Mantar astronomical observatory in Jaipur, India. Each structure consists of a cylindrical arrangement of columns joined at the top by a horizontal ring. A flight of stairs attached to each building ...

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Naval officer's telescope

This is a naval officer's telescope or spyglass. It was made in England in about 1760 from brass, glass and wood. There is an eyepiece at one end. The telescope is 51.5 centimetres long when closed and 88 centimetres when fully extended.

Video

Wilsons Promontory lighthouse keeper's home and work

This is an excerpt from a 10-minute promotional silent film about a camping trip to the Wilsons Promontory National Park. The excerpt is introduced by an intertitle 'The Lighthouse Keeper's Quarters', and is followed by footage of people walking out of a house and through extensive vegetable gardens. A second intertitle, ...

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Mt Stromlo Observatory, c1928

This is a black-and-white photograph taken around 1928 of the southern wing of the Commonwealth Solar Observatory on Mt Stromlo near Canberra. At the bottom of the photo is the observatory's workshop. Above it, a tower with a dome made of welded steel has been built to house one of the two main telescopes at the site. Two ...