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Nelligen, NSW

Thursday 3 Dec 1998

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In the morning we visited the Exploratory at Mount Stromolo Observatory.

This is nothing like the Exploratorium in San Francisco which is much more hands on.

This is not a lot different from the Exploratory at Siding Springs which isn't surprising as they are both done by the ANU.

The original refractor telescope is still there but can't be used even for public stargazing because they need $200,000 to repair the dome and no-one can find the money. Another victim of economic rationalism.

I was surprised to find a 185 cm (74 inch) telescope in constant use and with a two year booking lead time. The lack of altitude, its only 800 metres (2,600 feet) or so must be offset by the comparatively small number of good telescopes in the southern hemisphere.

They have developed some pretty smart software for image processing including a program to filter out the effects of the light from the city and another to zero out star images to allow an optical search for planets around nearby stars.

Not wanting to stay in Canberra, we drove down the hill towards Batemans Bay.

Just before we reached there, we found a nice little caravan park full of birds on the banks of the river at Nelligen.

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Created by Robin Chalmers on Sun, 6 Dec, 1998
last revised Wed, 9 Dec, 1998