This Saturday, 16th April, the Central West Astronomical Society will be holding its regular ‘Friends of The DISH’ event at the CSIRO Parkes Observatory Visitors Centre. Members and non-members are welcome to come along and learn about what’s hidden just behind our atmosphere. Telescopes will be set up on the grounds of the Centre and visitors will be invited to view the bright stars, sunspots, planets and moon through the telescopes in daylight.
Weather permitting, the event will run from around 9am until 4.30pm and is free of charge to all who wish to attend. Central West Astronomical Society meetings are held on the first Friday of every month except January from 7.30pm in the CSIRO Pares Observatory Visitors Centre. Everyone who has an interest in science, space or who would just like to socialise and make some new friends are welcome free of charge.
The famous CSIRO Parkes radio telescope has been in operation for more than 50 years and thanks to regular upgrades, it continues to be at the forefront of discovery. The telescope is one of three instruments that make up the Australia Telescope National Facility and it has now been announced that the telescope has been granted pathfinder status by the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Organisation in Australia.
The announcement welcomes ‘The Dish’ into the group of other world-leading instruments and systems engaged in SKArelated technology development and science studies. Parkes Shire Council Mayor Ken Keith OAM says, “The granted SKA pathfinder status for The Dish is an exciting development and ensures it remains at the forefront of astronomical discovery.” Astronomers from across Australia and around the world utilise the Parkes radio telescope, which has a diameter of 64 metres, to undertake world-class astronomical science.
Built virtually in the shadow of The Dish, the Discovery Centre, where visitors are invited to explore the world of astronomy, is also open 7 days. If you would like to become a friend of the dish give them a call on 6861 1777.