News and Events Archive

CSIRO Parkes radio telescope 2007 open days

Date posted: Fri 03 Aug 2007

The 2007 Open Days at Parkes observatory will be held on Saturday 22 September 2007 to Sunday 23 September 2007. These days are a rare chance for the public to tour the CSIRO Parkes radio telescope. There will also be special displays and activities.

Participants in the Wildflowers in the Sky: Astronomy for Mid West Schools ASISTM project will be running a workshop session on 11 July at the World Conference of Science & Technology Education in Perth.

Come along and meet the team, learn more about the project and experience some of the activities developed for teachers to use with their students.

This one-day workshop is at our Marsfield headquarters near Sydney on Saturday 16 June. It covers the theory required for parts of the Cosmic Engine core topic and Astrophysics option for the NSW Stage 6 Physics syllabus although the content is also suitable for teachers from other states. Speakers include professional astronomers and an experienced astronomy educator. Participants discuss practical ideas and demonstrations for addressing syllabus requirements with their students and receive a range of useful resources including a CD-Rom packed with software and other material. A few places are still available for this event.

This three-day workshop is a great opportunity for teachers to meet professional astronomers, hear lectures on different aspects of astronomy including some of the latest discoveries and tour the radio telescope. Emphasis is placed on practical and hands-on activities to take back and use in the classroom. Explore the wonderful dark night skies through optical telescopes. Participants also receive an extensive range of resources. Places are still available for this workshop.

The Victorian Space Science Education Centre and ATNF will be running a one-day workshop for Victorian teachers on Wednesday 2 May at the VSSEC, Strathmore Victoria. Our Education Officer, Rob Hollow, will present sessions on how to effectively teach astrophysics and discuss some useful resources and activities.

Bookings and more details are available from:

2007 ATNF Astronomy Workshops for Teachers

Date posted: Mon 22 Jan 2007

Two popular teacher workshops in astronomy will be run by ATNF in the first half of 2007.

"Astronomy from the Ground Up!" is a three day workshop for teachers of Junior Science. It will be held at the Parkes Observatory, 18 - 20 May. No expertise is required. Workshop events include a range of talks by professional astronomers, practical activities and ideas for use in the classroom, a tour of "The Dish" plus night time viewing with optical telescopes.

"Astrophysics for Physics Teachers" is a one day event at our Marsfield headquarters in Sydney on Saturday 16 June. It focuses on the content and skills need in the NSW Physics Astrophysics and Cosmic Engine modules.

Places for both workshops are limited and early registration is encouraged. Participants also receive a resource pack with a wealth of material for use in schools.

Elvis at the Dish

Date posted: Wed 20 Dec 2006

Each January Parkes comes alive to the sounds of hip swiveling Elvis impersonators at the Parkes Elvis Festival. This year visitors to the Parkes observatory will see a star of a different kind...

CSIRO Parkes radio telescope 2007 open days

Date posted: Wed 20 Dec 2006

The 2007 Open Days at Parkes observatory will be held on Saturday 22 September 2007 to Sunday 23 September 2007. These days are a rare chance for the public to tour the CSIRO Parkes radio telescope. There will also be special displays and activities.

The last transit of Mercury visible from Australia until 2032 will happen on the morning of Thursday 9 November 2006.

Staff of the CSIRO Australia Telescope Compact Array at Narrabri will set up a specially equipped telescope in town so that locals and visitors will be able to safely view the transit.

Follow the link for more details on the Narrabri viewing and other information on the transit.

Wildflowers in the Sky is an ASISTM project linking ATNF and other partner organisations with five schools in the Mid West region of Western Australia.

Students are engaged by hands-on activities and inquiry-based learning to observe the day and night sky using a range of technologies from the unaided eye through to remotely controlling telescopes via the internet. They collaborate with students in other schools and work with young scientists and educators from ATNF.

The project web pages are now online. They include details about the project, student contributions, photo gallery and some activities and resources. New material, including teacher professional development reources will be added as it is developed by project partners.

Our Education Officer will be presenting workshop sessions for Primary and Secondary teachers at both STAVCON at La Trobe University, Melbourne, 23 -24 November and at the STANSW Annual Conference, 1 - 2 Dec at UNSW in Sydney.

A public Open Day will be held at the Australia Telescope Narrabri Paul Wild Observatory on Saturday 29 July 2006 from 11am - 4pm. Entry is free. There will be antenna tours, control building tours, special displays, astronomer talks, and helicopter rides will be available at a fee.

Our Education Officer will be running some interesting workshop sessions for teachers at two upcoming events:

1. The Science Teacher Workshop for Physics teachers and University of Sydney, 15 - 16 June.

2. CONASTA 55 at the University of Adelaide, 9 -13 July.

Please follow the link for more details.

"Astronomy from the Ground Up!" is a three-day workshop for teachers held at the Parkes Observatory, Friday 19 to Sunday 21 May 2006.

The workshop aims to provide teachers of junior science with the knowledge, skills and confidence to effectively teach astronomical concepts. Teachers meet professional astronomers, hear lectures on different aspects of astronomy including some of the latest discoveries and tour the radio telescope. Emphasis is placed on practical and hands-on activities to take back and use in the classroom.

A viewing night using small optical telescopes is included (weather permitting). Cost is $260 incl most meals and a resource pack. More details and online registration are available by clicking on the heading link.

This is a one-day workshop held at our Marsfield headquarters , Sydney on Saturday 8 April. It covers the theory required for parts of the Cosmic Engine core topic and Astrophysics option for the NSW Stage 6 Physics syllabus although the content is also suitable for teachers from other states.

A range of professional astronomers will discuss the techniques used in modern astronomy and what their observations reveal about the Universe. Participants will also be presented with practical ideas for addressing syllabus requirements with their students and a range of useful resources including a CD-Rom packed with software and other material.

Places are still available.

Teacher Workshop in Geraldton, WA.

Date posted: Wed 15 Feb 2006

ATNF in conjunction with the Office of Science and Innovation of the Government of Western Australia, Scitech and Astronomy WA will be running a workshop for school teachers in astronomy. "Astronomy in Your Classroom and Beyond" will be held in Geraldton on Friday 17 - Sunday 19 March.

Sessions will include talks by ATNF astronomers, practical classroom activities and night time viewing sessions. Participants will recieve a wealth of resources and have extensive opportunities to network with peers and professional scientists.

Places are limited and the workshop is heavily subsidised so please book promptly.

Telescope wallpapers for your computer

Date posted: Thu 15 Dec 2005

You can now personalise your computer with stunning wallpaper images of the Parkes and Narrabri radio telescopes. A variety of images in a range of standard desktop resolutions can be viewed and downloaded from the "Wallpaper" section of our Image gallery.

2006 ATNF Teacher Workshops

Date posted: Thu 13 Oct 2005

Bookings are now open for two 2006 ATNF teacher workshops in astronomy.

Our popular three-day "Astronomy from the Ground Up!" workshop is at the Parkes radio telescope Friday 19 May to Sunday 21 May. It is suitable for all science teachers with no expertise in astronomy required.

A one-day "Astrophysics for Physics Teachers" will be held at our Marsfield headquarters in Sydney on Saturday 8 April. It targets the material in the NSW Stage 6 Physics course core module "The Cosmic Engine" and the "Astrophysics" option.

More details and online registration for both workshops can be found by following the link.

The winning entries of the David Malin awards will be on display at the Sydney Observatory until November 2005 as part of the 2005 Central West Astronomical Societey's Astrophotography Exhibition. Supported by CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility the exhibition started at Parkes Observatory as part of the society's Astro Fest.

Mars or other planets not as big as moon

Date posted: Wed 24 Aug 2005

An email circulating around the world has many people believing that Mars, or other planets, will appear as big as the Moon this August. This is not the case but Mars will be bright late in 2005.

View the Dish Live

Date posted: Tue 28 Jun 2005

View the famous Parkes radio telescope live via our new webcam. You can see the telescope in action day and night. A new image is uploaded every 30 seconds.

Download a short movie of the previous 24 hours or select from other interesting examples of the telescope operating.

New Online Resource Section for Teachers

Date posted: Wed 27 Apr 2005

Teachers may now access and download a range of resources from our new Teacher Resources & Services page. Information on other educational services offered to schools is also provided.

The resource section has support documents including risk assessments for school visits to the Parkes and Narrabri telescopes. You may also download papers discussing effective teaching strategies for teaching astronomy and astrophysics at Stages 4 - 6 and examples of assessment tasks for HSC astrophysics.

This new section also has contributions from practising classroom teachers covering several topics. More contributions are sought so please share your ideas with your colleagues.

This 2-hour free workshop for all teachers will provide participants with some simple and effective activities and practical ideas that cover concepts in the Astrophysics and Cosmic Engine units of the NSW Stage 6 Physics course.

Teachers are encouraged to bring along copies of their own activities and resources to share with colleagues.

The workshop runs from 4.30 - 6.30 pm at our Marsfield headquarters. Afternoon tea will be provided from 4.00 pm.

There are still a few places available for our annual three-day teacher workshop held at the Parkes Observatory.

Speakers present current research topics in astronomy and give you the background theory necessary to teach syllabus requirements. You will take part in practical activities and go home with a wealth of resources to use with your students.

Come and experience a stimulating professional development opportunity in the shadow of "The Dish" and spend time with professional astronomers and astronomy educators. This workshop is aimed at all teachers of teachers of high school science, no expertise is required.

Cost is $260 which includes resources, lunches, dinners and tea breaks. Visit the website for more details and online registration.

There are still places available for teachers who wish to attend the "Astrophysics for Physics Teachers" workshop at Marsfield, Sydney on Saturday 5 March.
Participants will hear a range of speakers discuss the material in the "Astrophysics" and "Cosmic Engine" modules of the senior Physics syllabus. They will also discover new ways to present the concepts in the classroom and effectively engage students.
Cost is $80 which includes morning tea, lunch and a wealth of resources. Visit the website for more details and booking form.

The Charlene Heisler Prize is open to students across Australia in Years 8 -10. Working individually or in groups students write a series of webpages tackling this year's theme;
How has our view of the Universe changed in the last 100 years?
The winning entries will be hosted on the Australia Telescope Outreach and Education website and win their authors a telescope for themselves or their school.
This prize celebrate Dr Charlene Heisler's contributions and enthusiasm for science and is supported by the Astronomical Society of Australia, ATNF and BinTel.
Entries close Monday 1 August 2005.
More information

Workshops for Victorian Physics Teachers

Date posted: Tue 11 Jan 2005

Date: Wednesday 9 February 2005
Location: Monash University, Clayton, VIC
Our Education Officer, Rob Hollow will be running two workshops at the STAV & AIP VCE Physics Teachers' Conference in February.

The first, "Probing the Unseen Universe - Radio Astronomy in Australia" discusses the development, current state and future of radio astronomy and highlights some recent discoveries.

The second, "Ideas for Effectivcely Teaching VCE Astronomy and Astrophysics" presents some simple ideas for conveying key concepts to students and how freely available visualisation tools can be used in the classroom.

Visit the STAV site for conference details and registration.

On 14 January 2005, radio telescopes of CSIRO and other Australian institutions will help pinpoint the location of the European Space Agency's Huygens probe as it plunges through the clouds of Titan, Saturn's largest moon.

The goal is to measure the speed of the winds in Titan's atmosphere.

This experiment is being coordinated by JIVE, the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe. It is separate from the tracking of the probe's parent Cassini spacecraft, which will be done by NASA's Deep Space Communication Network, including the Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex at Tidbinbilla, ACT.

Shortly after 9 pm AEDT the probe will start its descent through the clouds of Titan, 1.2 billion kilometres from Earth. Using a special technique, a network of 17 radio telescopes in Australia, the USA, China and Japan will attempt to determine its entry point to within a kilometre.

Media Release

"Cosmology in the Classroom" Teacher Workshops

Date posted: Thu 04 Nov 2004

Date: 27 November 2004
Location: UTS Sydney, STANSW Annual Conference.
Our Education Officer, Robert Hollow, will be presenting two workshop sessions on the effective teaching of Cosmology concepts at the Science Teachers Association of NSW Annual Conference at UTS, Sydney on Saturday 27 November 2004. The first of these is aimed at teachers of Stage 5 Science whilst the second targets the requirements of "The Cosmic Engine" module in Stage 6 Physics.
Both workshops will cover essential background theory and concepts as well as activities for conveying the ideas in the classroom. Participants will receive a handout summarising the workshop.
Visit the STANSW site, for conference details.

Radio Astronomy at Dover Heights

Date posted: Mon 18 Oct 2004

Date: 23 October
Location: Macquarie University, Building E7B
Time: from 6pm (talk starts around 7:30 pm)

Rodney Reserve, on the cliff tops at Dover Heights in the eastern suburbs of Sydney was one of the most remarkable and important astronomical sites in New South Wales. Between 1946 and 1954, this former WWII radar station was the leading field station of the CSIRO Division of Radiophysics, and was home to a succession of different radio telescopes that were used to make outstanding advances in radio astronomy. Around 120 new radio sources were detected at Dover Heights. These were identified as gaseous nebulae in our own Galaxy, and as powerful sources of radio waves from distant galaxies. These discoveries showed that radio waves could be used to study the universe "from the solar system to the Cosmos" and firmly established Australia as a world leader in the emerging new science of radio astronomy. In this talk Dr Jessica Chapman will discuss the people who worked at Dover Heights, the instruments that they built and their scientific achievements.

This talk is part of the Macquarie University Astronomy Open Night (organised by Alan Vaughan). Cost Adults $8, Children $4, families $20. The evening starts from 6 pm. The talk will begin around 7:30 pm.

2005 Teacher Workshops Announced

Date posted: Thu 23 Sep 2004

Details and registration for the 2005 ATNF Teacher Workshops in Astronomy are now available online.

Astrophysics for Physics Teachers is a one-day workshop, 5 March at Marsfield in Sydney, targeting the material in the Cosmic Engine and Astrophysics sections of the NSW Physics syllabus but would also be suitable for other states. Cost ($80) includes lunch and extensive resources.

Astronomy from the Ground Up! is our annual three-day workshop for all science teachers held at the Parkes radio telescope, 13 - 15 May. Come and spend three days alongside astronomers, astronomy educators and other teachers learning about a wide range of astronomical topics, trying hands-on activities and developing your confidence and skills to teach them in the classroom. Cost ($260) includes lunches, dinners and extensive resources.

Tuesday 21 September 2004
16:30 to 18:00
CSIRO CTIP Lehany Lecture Theatre

Dr George Hobbs, CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility will discuss the last stages in the lives of stars, focusing on pulsars, his main research area. He will discuss some exciting recent discoveries including the first known binary pulsars, discovered in late 2003 using the Parkes radio telescope. His talk will conclude with a discussion of an exciting new project that plans to use pulsars to try and make the first detection of gravity waves from space.

This talk is the second in a new "Lecture Series for Teachers and Senior Students".

CSIRO Education is proud to announce a series of talks for teachers and senior students by leading scientists in current topical fields of science. The speakers chosen will share with you some their background and expertise in fields of science relevant to the senior science syllabus. Teachers and students alike will find these talks both fascinating and helpful in addressing concepts in the senior syllabus. Talks will be approximately 60 minutes with additional time set aside for questions.

Talks will be held at the Lehany Theatre, CSIRO Division of Industrial Physics, Bradfield Road Lindfield and will run between 4.30 - 6.00pm with afternoon tea provided. Meet at the main Reception Foyer.

See for how to get there. To reserve your place, please RSVP in advance by calling 9413 7731 and leave a message confirming your attendance.

Sport in Space Competition Winners Announced

Date posted: Fri 13 Aug 2004

How would you like to do gymnastics on Pluto or diving on the Moon? Have you ever considered the difficulties in skiing on the polar ice caps of Mars? If not you can now read these winning entries online.

The results of the Sport in Space Competition are now available online. Entries came from across Australia and the names and topics of the winners and runners-up are listed for each category.

New Pulsar Information Page

Date posted: Tue 20 Jul 2004

A new page describing pulsars has been added to the Outreach site. It explains what pulsars are, how they form, how we find them and some recent research on them.

Sport in Space Winners

Date posted: Mon 18 Oct 2004

We are delighted to announce the results of our Sport in Space Competition during National Science Week 2004. Entries were received from across Australia. The winners and runners up in each category are listed below. If you would like to read the winning entries, please click on their titles to view their entries which have been adapted for the web.

2004 Transit of Venus

Date posted: Tue 01 Jun 2004

The 2004 Transit of Venus provided a rare and historic opportunity for people to view the passgae of the Planet Venus across the face of the Sun.

Follow the link to read more about this event.