Mt Stromlo Observatory
From Bush Observatory to the Nobel Prize
Celebrates the history and success of the iconic Mt Stromlo Observatory in Canberra, and the many discoveries made by astronomers there.
This book tells the story of the Mt Stromlo Observatory in Canberra which began with W.G. Duffield's idealism and vision in 1905. The Observatory began life as a government department, later becoming an optical munitions factory producing gun sights and telescopes during the Second World War, before changing its focus to astrophysics – the new astronomy. + Full description
In the ensuing years programs were introduced to push the Observatory in new directions at the international frontiers of astronomy. The astronomers built new, better and larger telescopes to unravel the secrets of the universe. There were controversies, exciting new discoveries and new explanations of phenomena that had been discovered. The Observatory and its researchers have contributed to determining how old the universe is, participated in the largest survey of galaxies in the universe, and helped to show us that the universal expansion is accelerating – research that led to Brian Schmidt and his international team being awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics.
These and other major discoveries are detailed in this fascinating book about one of the great observatories in the world.- Short description
No longer available in a print edition.
"This book deserves to be both a textbook and a bestseller"
Dawn Richardson, Canberra Historical Journal, March 2014
"every chapter is a goldmine for anyone with an interest in astronomical research"
BAS Observer, p.14
"This book is a must-read for anyone with an interest in the history of science in Australia, and indeed for all science professionals."
Bob Frater, Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 363 - 364
DetailsePDF | December 2013
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
- The book is about a national icon which is very much tied up with the history of Australia’s national capital, Canberra. It is about the idealism and vision of an unknown research student, Geoffrey Duffield in the 1920s and how this vision was achieved by the astronomers who came after him.
- Highlights some of the most significant astronomical discoveries made with the innovative telescopes and instruments that changed the face of 20th and early 21st century astronomy.
- Illustrated with historical documents, wonderful and exciting images of the universe we live in and quotations from the astronomers about the issues, controversies and the discoveries they made that propelled the observatory into international fame.
About the authors
1 A beginning in the bush
2 A bush observatory
4 Optical munitions factory
5 The change master
6 The astronomical godfather
7 A life on the dome floor
8 Astronomical entrepreneur
9 An instrumentalist and the MACHO project
10 Masters of the Universe
11 Bush fires and a new beginning
12 Fellows and the Nobel Prize
13 Nobel Lecture
Appendix 1. Timeline of major events