Scientific research Popular-scientific pages Credits
Radio Infra-red Optical Optical/NIR
Ultra-violet X-ray Γ-ray

Mount Stromlo Observatory

Mount Stromlo Observatory is one of two observatories operated by the Australian National University (ANU). It is located on a hill (one can hardly call it a mountain...) near the Australian Capital of Canberra. Ontop of its scientific reputation, the observatory became famous in January 2003 for being partly destroyed by a bushfire.

The old, 19th century Commonwealth Solar Observatory administration building of Mount Stromlo, gutted after the destruction of 2003's bushfire, prior to reconstruction.

I visited the observatory in September 2004 and the photos below will make it hard to believe that such a thing could happen. It was partly rainy, pretty cold, and everything around the observatory was quite green (except for the still remaining charcoal-grey spots in between). The pictures were taken during the phase of reconstruction at the observatory.

The 50 inch telescope's dome base and telescope mount (or what is left over of them).

One can see in the background of the last photo that not all telescopes/domes were destroyed. Also some of the houses on site went unscathed, but obviously a lot of damage was done by the fire.

CSO building with the heliostat tower in the foreground.