• Sunshine recorder, made by Rudolf Fuess, Germany 1892-1905, MAAS collection, H7353

Sydney Observatory Exhibits

An amazing collection of instruments, artefacts, books and photos are showcased inside Sydney Observatory. Ask staff about our self-guided tours which will help you discover the history of astronomy and weather watching in Australia.

Cadi Eora Birrung

The Observatory site is on the land of the Eora people. Aboriginal people are Australia’s first astronomers, having watched the southern sky for more than 50,000 years.

Experience a unique perspective of our night sky in this exhibit showing constellations with explanations about their creation from an Aboriginal perspective.

By the light of the southern stars

After colonisation, Observatory Hill became the site of a windmill, a fort, a signal station and finally an observatory. Find out about the Observatory’s history, time keeping, surveying, meteorological and astronomical photographic work in this display of the Observatory’s own 19th and 20th century instruments.

Transit of Venus

On Tuesday 8 June 2004, the planet Venus crossed in front of the Sun. When the planet’s silhouette moved across the Sun – a transit of Venus – we witnessed one of the rarest and most famous events in astronomy.

Learn about the history and significance of transits of Venus to astronomy and its role in Australia’s history in this exhibit.

Observing the weather

What was Sydney’s hottest day? It’s wettest day? It’s wildest storm? Find out the answer and learn about global warming in this exhibit.

Hear from people who experienced wild Sydney weather and see objects including hail-damaged objects. Hands-on displays let you form clouds and discover why rain falls.