Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope

Molonglo Symposium

Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope: honouring a spectacular journey through a symposium of accomplishments
We invite you to join us to celebrate Molonglo’s contribution to science over the last 50 years at a symposium and dinner hosted by the School of Physics and supported by the Physics Foundation and Hunstead Foundation.

In consultation with radio astronomy staff from the School of Physics and Professor Matthew Bailes, who has been leading the Swinburne University research at Molonglo, the University of Sydney will be closing scientific operations at the Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope at the end of June 2023.

Since opening in 1965, the Molonglo radio telescope has been a leading instrument for radio astronomy, with many research discoveries attributed to work undertaken at the site. Highlights range from the detection of quasar scintillation; the mapping of the entire southern sky in the Sydney University Molonglo Sky Survey and the Molonglo Galactic Plane Survey; to the first discovery of a pulsar associated with a supernova remnant (Vela). Most recently, Swinburne University led research that has resulted in the discovery of several Fast Radio Bursts.

The site has also played host to approximately 50 PhD students, training generations of radio astronomers under the leadership and direction of many academic staff members, including the late Professor Bernard Mills, Professor of Physics (Astrophysics), the late Professor Richard Hunstead, Emeritus Professor Anne Green and Professor Elaine Sadler. Research at the site has also allowed for many collaborations, including most recently with the CSIRO and Swinburne University. The University is especially thankful to Dr Duncan Campbell-Wilson, and more recently Dr Tim Bateman and Dr Chris Flynn for their on-site professionalism and devotion to the instrument.

The telescope’s design has allowed for upgrades over the past half century, but with next-generation telescopes coming online, at sites more suited to radio astronomy, it is time for Molonglo to be retired. The contribution of the Molonglo Observatory to radio astronomy must be recognised, with the site operating as a vital testbed for technology for the Square Kilometre Array.

We are hosting a day-symposium of talks and an evening dinner representing an opportunity to come together to celebrate the site, staff and students who have ensured continued operation and great scientific discoveries over the course of the last 50 plus years.

We invite you to join the symposium and dinner, symposium only, or dinner only. We are also inviting partners to join the dinner - please note that tickets will be on a first-come-first-serve basis. We are also inviting contributed talks.

Event Details

Date: Wednesday 11 October 2023
Symposium: 9am-5pm, Chau Chak Wing Museum Auditorium, University of Sydney
Dinner: 6pm, The Grandstand, Blackburn Oval, University of Sydney
Symposium and dinner: $80
Dinner only: $50
Symposium only: $30

Purchase tickets:

Molonglo team

Molonglo people: (from left) Prof Anne Green who is leading the symposium to celebrate the observatory's life, Dr Manisha Caleb who completed her PhD at Molonglo, Dr Chris Flynn (Swinburne University) who has been the Telescope Project Manager since 2012, and Tim Bateman who has been the electrical engineer since 2014. 

Molonglo team