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Siding Spring Observatory

Due to the absence of high mountains with weather conditions suitable for astronomical observations, at an elevation of only aout 1200 m, Siding Spring Observatory is the lowest-elevation observatory boasting a 4-m class optical telescope (the 3.9-m Anglo-Australian Telescope, AAT).

Siding Spring Observatory, as seen from Timor Road, from Coonabarabran to Warrumbungle National Park (click on image for larger version)

When I passed by the observatory as a tourist and took photos from a nearby valley. Siding Spring is located near Warrumbungle National Park, just outside Coonabarabran, New South Wales, Australia. Next time around, there was the chance of taking an overview photo from the air:

Aerial overview photo of Siding Spring Observatory, with the huge dome of the AAT on the right and that of the 1.2 m Schmidt on the left (click on image for larger version)

Here a different perspective (click on image for larger version)

View of Siding Spring Observatory from Mount Kaputar National Park, over a line-of-sight distance of 150 km (click on image for larger version)

View of Siding Spring Observatory from a fire watch tower in the Pilliga scrub, at a distance of about 60-70 km (click on image for larger version)

Aerial photo of Siding Spring Observatory, with the huge dome of the AAT in the foreground

Photo of the AAO dome (click on image for larger version)

Photo of the 1.2 m Schmidt dome (click on image for larger version)

The AAT is the telescope with which Dave Malin, probably the most renowned astrophotographer of our time, took his amazing photos.

Right around the corner from Siding Spring, closer to Coonabarabran (within walking distance), one finds the Mopra radio telescope.