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The Anglo-Australian Observatory

The Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO) is located at Siding Spring Mountain, some 450km northwest of Sydney, outside the town of Coonabarabran in central New South Wales. The Observatory is bounded on three sides by the Warrumbungle National Park.

The Observatory itself consists of the 3.9m Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) commissioned in 1974, and the 1.2m Schmidt Telescope which came under the jurisdiction of the AAO in 1988. From 1973 to 1988, the Schmidt was operated by the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh.

The Observatory is jointly funded by the UK and Australian Governments under the terms set out in the Anglo-Australian Telescope Agreement. The Anglo-Australian Telescope Board (AATB)  has overall responsibility for Observatory policy and for the direction of its development. The Director is responsible for the day-to-day affairs of the Observatory.

A comprehensive history, The Creation of the Anglo-Australian Observatory by S.C.B. Gascoigne, K.M. Proust and M.O. Robins, was published by Cambridge University Press in 1990.

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