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|Following the Opening Ceremony, the invited guests and general public were then invited to inspect the new Centre.
The newly landscaped grounds are a special feature. It is a joint project of the Parkes Shire Council and the Observatory. "We have a large globe of the Earth, oriented with Australia on top of the world, and a precision sundial that tells the correct standard time all year round," Mr. Twardy said. "These are unique to Parkes, although we hope other observatories will copy them."
After extensive renovations, the centre is bigger and brighter than ever.
A new audio-visual show, "The Invisible Universe", features a multiple slide projector format, to give extremely high quality visual material. It tells the story of the Parkes Observatory's achievements and has proved to be very popular with the public. It was produced by the Australian Business Theatre (ABT).
A new three-dimensional, virtual reality film on stellar evolution was premiered. The film is produced by the Swinburne University of Technology, Astrophysics & Supercomputing Group, led by Professor Matthew Bailes. It was a great hit with the audience.
In addition, new displays and other hands-on exhibits were inspected by the guests.