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Sydney Observatory

What's On at Sydney Observatory

January – April 2004
Overlooking Sydney Harbour, Sydney Observatory is Australia’s oldest observatory built in 1857-59. Situated on Observatory Hill, it is an important site in the nation’s scientific history. It was essential to ship navigation, meteorology, timekeeping and studying the unfamiliar stars of the Southern Hemisphere. The Powerhouse Museum’s Sydney Observatory is great for the whole family!

Celebrate NYE at the Sydney Observatory
Become a Powerhouse Museum member for an exclusive invitation to spend New Years Eve gazing at the Harbour fireworks from one of Sydney’s best vantage-points.
Members price: $130 adult, $90 child, family $390, $110 concession.
Join now for Sydney Observatory exclusive events, free general entry to the Powerhouse 364 days of the year and a host of member benefits. Call 02 9217 0600 or email:

Saturn Night Fever open nights
Don't miss this fabulous opportunity to view Saturn, the spectacular ringed planet, and then journey through the solar system with our 3-D Space Theatre. Suitable for all the family!
Cost: $12 adults, $8 child/concession, $32 family. Bookings not required
Weekends 10 & 11 and 17 & 18 January 8:30pm-11:00pm

Swinging with Saturn supper
Enjoy a night of celestial viewing of Saturn and enjoy a champagne supper whilst listening to the sweet sounds of jazz overlooking the harbour at Sydney Observatory.
Cost: $65 Bookings essential
Thursday 8 January
10:30pm- 12:30am

Mars Lectures
The latest from the Beagle Explorer and the Mars Exploration Lander (MER) with Neal Newman from NASA.
Cost: $12 adults, $8 child/concession, $32 family.
Bookings essential.
Monday 12 and Friday 16 January 8:00-9:00pm

January School Holidays
Launch your own rocket, build a solar barbeque, come to a Saturn fever party day.
For further information visit:

Space Australia Day
With free entry & access to all the activities there isn't a better time to see Sydney's own Observatory. From the 3-D Theatre, tours and telescope viewings to rocket launches, solar barbeques and solar system mobile making.
Monday 26 January

Sydney Observatory 2004 Sky Guide by Dr Nick Lomb, Curator of Astronomy
This 20th edition of this popular field guide contains everything you need to know about the night sky in Sydney and eastern New South Wales with monthly star maps, sun and moon rise and set times, tidal calculations and details of the year’s most exciting celestial events. Plus new to the 2003 edition are simple instructions for use Australia-wide and two-toned tables for easy reading.
RRP $15.00. Available from the Sydney Observatory, Powerhouse Museum Shop, good bookstores and by mail-order on tel: 9217 0129.

Mars: the closest encounter
Mars is closer to Earth this year than it has been in recorded history. This exhibition explores our fascination with the red planet, from early observations and theories of a race of intelligent beings to contemporary exploration and findings. Discover Mars the god of war from Roman mythology, and experience the red planet’s impact on popular culture through books, pulp fiction and recordings. See a scale model demonstrating how and why an opposition occurs and view a magnified piece of an actual meteorite from Mars found in Libya seven years ago.

3-D Space Theatre
Experience the Observatory’s latest attraction and explore our galaxy like never before! This 3-D virtual reality experience will take you on a journey through the solar system or be an astronaut on a futuristic mission to Mars. Afterwards tour our historic and modern telescopes and view celestial objects in the sky (weather permitting).
Day sessions: $6 adults, $4 child/concession, $16 family.
Night sessions: $12 adults, $8 child/concession, $32 family.
Prepayment and bookings for night sessions only on 9217 0485.
Developed by Swinburne University of Technology, Centre for Astrophysics.

Women's outfit by Roy comprising cotton jeans and top. Photo by Marinco Kojdanovski © Powerhouse MuseumGuided night viewings
Visit Sydney Observatory at night and see the stars and planets from the domes through the historic telescope or state-of-the-art 40-cm mirror telescope. Night sessions also include a 3-D Space Theatre experience and exhibition visit.
Cost: $12 adults, $8 child/concession, $32 family
Prepayment and bookings are essential on 9217 0485.

By the light of the southern stars
By the light of the southern stars blends the long tradition of Australian astronomy with the latest developments in this fascinating field. The exhibition ranges from the observations of the Transit of Venus by Captain Cook and later by the Observatory itself, to the work of other world-class Australian observatories. Learn about the time keeping, surveying, meteorological and astronomical work that was performed by the Observatory in days gone by.
Sponsored by Fujitsu General (Aust) Pty Ltd.

Cadi Eora Birrung: under the Sydney stars
Aboriginal people were Australia’s first astronomers. This exhibition shows many constellations in the southern skies and explains how they were created from an Aboriginal perspective. It highlights how the stars were used for navigation by land and sea, for land and water management practices and ceremonial use. The Dreaming stories associated with the constellations are used to explain Aboriginal laws and to teach children about the morals associated with these stories. The stories are told through animation and interactives, providing a rich and unique perspective of our night sky.
For all media enquiries contact: Hayley Gallant,

Address: Watson Road, Observatory Hill, The Rocks
Telephone: 02 9217 0485
Infoline: 02 9217 0444
Hours: 10.00am to 5.00pm (Closed Christmas Day) Open nightly. Bookings essential on 02 9217 0485
Admission: Daytime admission is FREE.
3-D Space Theatre $6 adults, $4 child/concession, $16 family
Nightime - $12 adults, $8 child/concession, $32 family.

Sydney Observatory is sponsored by Nikon
Watson Road, Observatory Hill, The Rocks, Sydney
+ PO Box K346 Haymarket NSW 1238 Australia

Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences + Incorporating Powerhouse
Museum and Sydney Observatory


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