|Reaching for the Stars|
UTAS School of Mathematics and Physics will build a new optical
astronomy observatory on Bisdee Tier, east of the Midland Highway at
Spring Hill in Tasmania. The peak at Bisdee Tier has been
selected by a team under the direction of Dr John Greenhill as one of
the best sites in the state in relation to average cloud cover, quality
of astronomical seeing, light pollution and accessibility. Although it
is just an hour's drive from Hobart, light pollution is negligible and
is expected to remain that way for the foreseeable future.
observatory building will have a rotatable dome housing the new
telescope and the associated spectrograph, computer and control rooms.
A second building will serve as quarters for observers and
provide facilities for students, researchers and visitors.
Bisdee Tier Observatory
The new observatory will replace Mount Canopus as the facility for:-
- astronomical research by honours and postgraduate students and UTAS staff.
- visiting astronomers from mainland Australia and overseas working in collaboration with UTAS staff.
- a hands-on learning environment for astronomical techniques and instrument development in optics, electronics and computing.
outreach activities including visits by school students and community
groups and regular open-house nights for the general public.
new, modern observatory will be a significant attraction to top
students seeking world-class facility and research training in
leading-edge techniques and technology. This will enhance the
degree program in physics and increase student numbers by creating new,
high-profile research opportunities.
- liaison with the amateur astronomical community.
new observatory has the potential to be a flagship facility capturing
the imagination and support of a wide segment of society. Engagement
with the community is at the heart of this effort. The proposed
new facility represents growth for UTAS astronomy programs and for the
community as a whole.