'The Astronomer' – Parkes, Australia - Atlas Obscura

'The Astronomer'

Parkes, Australia

A stargazing sculpture made from the ruins of an iconic telescope.  

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In 2003, Canberra was hit by a horrific firestorm. The fire destroyed the Mount Stromlo Observatory, as well as its historic Yale-Columbia Refractor telescope. The telescope had been observing the stars since the 1920s and even helped with a few NASA missions.

But from this tragedy came beauty. Parts of the telescope that were damaged were used to construct this magnificent sculpture known as “The Astronomer.” Constructed by scientist/artist Tim Wetherell, the sculpture is a visual nod to the telescope and functions as both a historical monument and a unique piece of art. 

The sculpture currently stands tall outside Questacon, a popular science and technology center in Canberra. Be sure to visit and maybe stargaze alongside him.

Atlas Obscura Trips

Walking & Wine in Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park

Wind your way through Freycinet National Park and Maria Island, experiencing the wildlife, locally sourced foods, and the breathtaking beauty of Wineglass Bay.
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