Australia, New South Wales, Sydney, view of Sydney Observatory on Observatory Hill
Manfred Gottschalk / age fotostock
In the 1850s, a rugged hill overlooking Sydney Harbour was capped with the Sydney Observatory at the behest of English astronomer and clergyman William Scott. What started as a sandstone structure used primarily for time-keeping and navigation developed into an observatory that has been illuminating the southern sky for more than a century. Sydney has much more light pollution today, but the original retractable copper dome does a good job of blocking it out to bring distant constellations and nebulae into view. The resident astronomer will target planets such as Jupiter and Saturn as well as only-in-the-southern-hemisphere sights such as the Southern Cross constellation or the astronomer’s favorite: Jewel Box, a rare cluster of glimmering stars whose different colors reflect distinct ages.
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