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Image and text © 1977-2002, Australian Astronomical Observatory, Photograph by David Malin.
The two telescopes of the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) are on Siding Spring Mountain in outback New South Wales, Australia. The observatory overlooks the Warrumbungle National Park, one of Australia's finest. In the foreground is the dome of the UK Schmidt Telescope (UKST), constructed in 1974, but since 1988 a vital part of the AAO. Despite its diminutive size the UKST has exquisite optics and a field of view much greater that the AAT. It has been used to make surveys of the largely unexplored southern sky, discovering new objects that are studied in more detail with the AAT.
Against the rugged skyline of the Warrumbungle Mountains is the dome of the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT), the last of a series of 4m telescopes constructed in the mid-1970s. Both these instruments are constantly updated to exploit some of the world's darkest skies and their very wide fields of view.
Related AAT site images
AAT 1. The 3.9m Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT)
AAT 2. An observer adjusts the UK Schmidt Telescope
AAT 3. The telescope control console of the AAT
AAT 4a. The prime focus cage and an observer
AAT 4b. The prime focus cage and an older observer
AAT 4c. The prime focus cage and a displaced observer
MISC 1. The AAT dome (forground) and the UK Schmidt building
MISC 3. AAT dome and utilities building
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