Telescopes

Please be advised that from February 2016, Sydney Observatory’s paths and gardens will be undergoing some renovations to improve access to Sydney’s oldest observatory. During these works the Observatory will remain open day and night. There may be a small impact on our programs, events and tours but we aim to complete this project as quickly as possible and thank you for your understanding. Please contact us on sydneyobservatory@maas.museum or (02) 9217 0111 if you would like more information.

Experience the oldest working telescope in Australia! One of three telescopes you can use at Sydney Observatory:

Equatorial Refracting telescope, South Dome

This beautiful telescope was installed to observe the Transit of Venus in 1874. It’s the oldest working telescope in Australia and is of immense historic importance.

With a large lens, 29cm in diameter, the telescope was too large to fit in the South Dome. The original dome, built in 1858, was taken down and a larger dome built to fit the telescope. You can read more about the refracting telescope and its history in the MAAS online collection.

Experience the refracting telescope as part of a night tour, or view it during a day tour.

40cm Mirror Telescope, North Dome

The North Dome was added in 1878 to allow a view of the eastern sky, which was blocked by the time-ball tower in the South Dome. The North Dome now houses a state-of-the-art computer-controlled 40cm reflecting (mirror) telescope.

Experience the mirror telescope as part of a night tour, or view it during a day tour.

Solar telescope

Our solar telescope is safe for day-time use, letting you view the Sun, bright stars and, depending on the time of year, even the Moon and Venus!

Please note, it is not safe to look at the Sun through any normal telescope, with binoculars or the naked eye. Doing so could seriously damage your eyesight.

Experience the solar telescope as part of a day tour.

Share