平博开户

Communication Manager, Astronomy, Space and Supercomputing

Phone +61294908002

Email Gabby Russell

News releases and statements

平博开户The iconic Parkes radio telescope, otherwise known as The Dish, has been officially recognised for its contribution to Australian astronomy and humankind’s understanding of the Universe with its addition to the National Heritage List.

Additional Resources

平博开户Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley announced today that the telescope, owned and operated by Australia’s national science agency – CSIRO, is the first functioning scientific instrument to be added to the list.

平博开户 Construction of the 64-metre diameter telescope at CSIRO’s Parkes Observatory was completed in 1961, an achievement of engineering and technical design.

Now almost 60 years old, the Parkes radio telescope continues to be used by Australian and international astronomers in the search for answers to some of the Universe’s greatest scientific questions.

The telescope is best known, however, for its role in supporting NASA’s missions to explore our Solar System.

平博开户 In July 1969, alongside NASA’s Honeysuckle Creek Station near Canberra, the telescope played a key role in receiving the television signals from the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon and sharing this technological feat with 600 million people around the world.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the Parkes Observatory is a key part of Australia’s scientific capability.

“The Dish is part of Australia’s proud cultural and scientific history and to this day continues to serve as an important tool in our understanding of the Universe,” Minister Andrews said.

平博开户 “As Australia again plays a critical role in the next efforts to put people on the Moon, and go on to Mars, this listing couldn’t come at a more appropriate time.”

平博开户 CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said the Parkes radio telescope is an icon of Australian science and innovation.

“Australia has a long and proud history of science-driven innovation, from our first digital computer – CSIRAC, to the first air defence radar which helped to pave the way for the new field of radio astronomy after World War II, and more recently the development of fast Wi-Fi that connects people across the world to the internet,” Dr Marshall said.

“While the Parkes telescope may be old enough to qualify for the National Heritage List, it continues to operate as one of the world’s leading astronomy instruments, observing the Universe day and night, seven days a week, with the most advanced radio receiver systems in the world."

平博开户 Its instrumentation has been continually upgraded so the telescope is now 10,000 times more sensitive than when it was first built.

平博开户 Using the Parkes telescope astronomers have found most of the known pulsars, rapidly spinning neutron stars, and identified the first ‘fast radio burst’, a phenomenon that researchers around the world are racing to explain.

Professor Naomi McClure-Griffiths from the Australian National University spent over 2000 hours observing the Milky Way using the Parkes telescope for the Southern Galactic Plane Survey and the Galactic All Sky Survey.

“Parkes was the very first telescope I visited as a student and it has remained a constant companion throughout my career,” Professor McClure-Griffiths said.

平博开户 “I have exploited its incredible sensitivity to reveal the Milky Way’s interstellar gas in all its glory.

“As far as telescopes go, Parkes was my first love – a love that has been kept alive through CSIRO's outstanding instrumentation on this grand icon of radio astronomy.

平博开户 “Parkes is as much a marvel of engineering now as it ever was.”

The Mayor of Parkes Shire Council, Councillor Ken Keith OAM, said the Parkes community in Central West NSW is very proud of the telescope.

平博开户 “It holds a special place in all of our hearts,” Cr Keith said.

“The telescope has attracted an array of talented staff throughout its years, embedding a base of scientific and intellectual knowledge and culture within our region which has in turn further stimulated a scientific interest within the broader community and inspired our young citizens.”

Cr Keith said Parkes’ representation in the hit 2000 Australian movie The Dish enhanced Australia’s interest in the telescope, and the important role it has played throughout history.

“The telescope has certainly cemented its position as an iconic attraction for not only our community, but has gained worldwide attention, and has been pivotal to the growth of the Parkes Shire visitor economy,” Cr Keith said.

Visitors are welcome to CSIRO’s Parkes Observatory, which is open with COVID-19 precautions in place. For more information see bpjtl.com/parkes.

CSIRO Parkes radio telescope’s top achievements:

Hear our news first

Want to hear our news as it happens, and be the first to see our most exciting stories? Subscribing to our news releases and newsletters including Snapshot will give you the latest info.

Images

  • Black and whte photgraph of the Parkes telescope under partial constructions with crane tower next to the frame of the dish section.

    CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope during construction Credit: CSIRO

    Download image
  • Black and white photo of the Parkes radio telescope with a flock of sheep in the foreground.

    CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope shortly after its completion in 1961 Credit: CSIRO

    Download image
  • Parkes radio telescope at night lit up by lights.

    平博开户CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope Credit: CSIRO/A. Cherney

    Download image
  • People working in the Parkes telescope control room during the Apollo11 mission.

    Inside the telescope during the Apollo 11 moonwalk. Credit: CSIRO

    Download image
  • Black and white photgraph of Parkes radio telescope during construction.

    CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope during construction Credit: CSIRO

    Download image
  • Dr E.G. 'Taffy' Bowen leaning over a desk with photos of the Parkes telescope in various stages of construction pinned to a board in the background.

    平博开户Dr E.G. 'Taffy' Bowen was CSIRO’s Chief of the Division of Radiophysics and the driving force behind the Parkes radio telescope. Credit: CSIRO

    Download image
  • Astronomers sitting at computers observing with CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope.

    平博开户Astronomers observing with CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope Credit: CSIRO

    Download image
  • Ultra-wideband receiver, shown in a testing chamber.

    平博开户A new ultra-wideband receiver, shown here in a testing chamber, was installed on CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope in 2018. Credit: CSIRO

    Download image
  • Artists impression of a double pulsar.

    平博开户Astronomers using CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope discovered the first known double pulsar system, which enables stringent tests of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity Credit: CSIRO/John Rowe Animation.

    Download image
  • Colour image of data from the Galactic All-Sky Survey.

    The first public release of data collected through the Galactic All-Sky Survey, conducted with CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope, was made in early 2009 Credit: Credit: S. Janowiecki (Indiana University), N. McClure-Griffiths (CSIRO), D.J. Pisano (West Virginia University) and the GASS Team.

    Download image

B-roll videos

News release contact

平博开户Communication Manager, Astronomy, Space and Supercomputing

Contact us

 
Your contact details

平博开户First name must be filled in

平博开户We'll need to know what you want to contact us about so we can give you an answer.