Thursday, 13 October 2011

Millers Point, Sydney Observatory

Sydney Observatory is located on Observatory Hill at Millers Point. The heritage listed observatory, built in 1858, was essential to shipping, navigation, meteorology, timekeeping and the study of stars seen from the Southern Hemisphere. Government Astronomers worked and lived in the building until 1982, when it became part of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. It is now a museum and public observatory with a role in astronomy education and public telescope viewing. These telescope domes protect the optical telescopes and have slits in the roof that can be opened during observing and can be rotated to observe different sections of the night sky. The central tower features a weather vane and a time ball, which signalled the time to ships and to the General Post Office in Martin Place. It is still raised to the top of its post and dropped at exactly 1pm every day.

19 comments:

  1. Since my time when in your country was limited, I do so enjoy seeing some of it through lens.

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  2. What a beautiful building. Your photography is excellent.
    xo
    Betty

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  3. So they still drop the ball! I wonder if any one still sets their clocks by it!

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  4. Always wanted to go here but have never made it.

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  5. A grand, dignified old building! Wish I had wandered closer to it when I lived in Sydney! Always saw it from a distance!

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  6. I have been on a tour there. Interesting place.

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  7. Kevin, that's something I haven't done yet. I have it on my "to do" list. :)

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  8. And when it drops someone fires the cannon at Pinchgut which frightens the hell out of everyone!

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  9. Hi Jim, Hope you've recovered fully. It's good to be back in your city again although just for a few days.

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  10. Thanks for your well-wishes Bill. I'm still on the road to recovery but haven't returned to work yet. I'm having physio now which is going well and I can start walking on my leg from next week.

    Peter, I did read about the cannon fired in unison from Fort Denison but wasn't sure whether they still did it. I'll have to keep an ear out next time I'm around Sydney Harbour at 1pm.

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  11. Wouldn't mind being there when the cannon goes off Jim, might get some funny expression shots! It's a wonderful looking old building.

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  12. Interesting spot for sky watching and the importance of sky watching to the ancient sea farers!

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  13. This is a terrific place to take the children. I cannot believe we were soooo sophisticated in 1858 - for the study of stars of course but also the more mundane stuff like shipping and timekeeping. Love it!

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  14. I went back to the flagstaff to take a photo for you . They didn't fly any flags. The sailing club was closed. I will post it for you on my stories blog.

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