The Parkes Observatory IYA Open Days: 18-19 2009.

The CSIRO Parkes Observatory Open Days
18-19 July 2009

The CSIRO's Parkes Observatory is celebrating the International Year of Astronomy and the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

On 21 July 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin became the first people to set foot on the surface of the Moon. This remarkable achievement was the realisation of a long held dream of mankind. The television pictures of this historic event were received by the CSIRO Parkes telescope and relayed to 600 million people or 1/5th of mankind at the time.
To celebrate this incredible achievement, the CSIRO Parkes Observatory will be hosting open days on the weekend of 18-19 July. The open days will showcase the achievements of the Parkes Radio Telescope as a world-leading astronomical telescope as well as its roles in supporting some of the most significant space missions in history.

Keep checking this page for updates as we get closer to the date.




Open Days

18 - 19 July 2009

Saturday: 9:00am - 4:00pm (tours and activities)

Saturday night: 5:30pm - 8:00pm (Screening of movie: The Dish)

Sunday: 9:00am - 4:00pm (tours and activities)
Visitors enjoying a telescope tour

Where: Parkes observatory (20km north of Parkes, NSW)
  • Telescope tours (enclosed footwear required)
    9.00am - 4.00 pm, both days

    Children must be able to walk unassisted up stairs at a reasonable pace
    to go on telescope tours.

    Only a limited number of telescope tours can be conducted.
    To avoid disappointment arrive early. All visitors wishing to
    go on telescope tours must wear enclosed footwear.

  • Live broadcast ABC local radio (Saturday morning)
  • Astronomy talks - see list of speakers below
  • Ask an expert
  • Helicopter joy flights
  • Produce and craft stalls, commemorative coins
  • Jumping castle
  • Starlab - a mini planetarium with a 20min star show; entry by gold coin donation
  • Face painting and mini tattoos
Food will be available throughout the day (breakfast and lunch) from the sumptuous Dish Cafe as well as a "soup tent" (take-away food).

  • Sat night 5.30 - 7.30: Screening of "The Dish"

NOTE: Temperatures are likely to drop to zero on the Saturday night, so people wishing to attend the viewing of the movie should bring VERY warm clothing and blankets/sleeping bags.

Astronomy talks will be given by:
  • Jill Tarter, Director of the Center for SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) Research at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, will give the John Bolton Memorial Lecture
  • David Malin, astrophotographer - "Galileo's astronomical legacy"
  • John Sarkissian, ATNF Operations Scientist - "Parkes and the Apollo Missions"
  • Wayne Lee, NASA Altair Vehicle Systems Manager - "NASA's plan to return to the Moon"
  • George Hobbs, ATNF astronomer - "Parkes and pulsars"
Email the Parkes Observatory Visitors Centre for more information.