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Wed, 09 Aug



The Worlds' Shakiest Telescopes

Join Fred Watson for this fully illustrated and rather humorous talk on some of the most weirdest, most wonderful and worst telescopes in the world's history.

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The Worlds' Shakiest Telescopes
The Worlds' Shakiest Telescopes

Time & Location

09 Aug 2023, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm AEST

Belrose, 146 Forest Way, Belrose NSW 2085, Australia

About the event


The world’s shakiest telescopes – and discoveries made in spite of them

In the four centuries since the invention of the telescope, astronomers have devised ever more sophisticated ways of exploring the heavens. Sometimes, their ideas have outstripped the available technology, or gone in strange and unusual directions ending in blind alleys. In this entertaining and fully illustrated talk, Fred Watson explains what makes telescopes go bad, and presents examples from his shaky telescope casebook. The talk is dedicated to the memory of astronomy enthusiast Jeff Ogg, who recently lost his battle with Parkinson’s Disease.


About your speaker:

Fred Watson says he's spent so many years working in large telescope domes that he has started to look like one. He is Australia’s first Astronomer-at-Large in the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, having worked at both of Britain’s Royal Observatories before joining the Australian Astronomical Observatory as Astronomer-in-Charge in 1995.

Recognised internationally for helping to pioneer the use of fibre optics in astronomy during the 1980s, Fred is best known today for his award-winning radio and TV broadcasts, books, music, dark-sky advocacy and co-hosting the Space Nuts podcast.

Fred has adjunct professorships at Macquarie University and the Universities of New South Wales, Sydney, Western Sydney, Southern Queensland  and Wollongong. In 2003,he received the David Allen Prize for communicating astronomy to the public, and in 2006 was the winner of the Australian Government Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science. In January 2010, Fred was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to astronomy, particularly the promotion and popularisation of space science through public outreach.

Fred's books include "Stargazer - the Life and Times of the Telescope", "Why is Uranus Upside Down? - and Other Questions About the Universe” (which won the 2008 Queensland Premier's Literary Prize for Science Writing) and "Star-Craving Mad - Tales from a Travelling Astronomer”, featuring highlights from his science tours around the world. HIs most recent books are “Cosmic Chronicles - a user’s guide to the Universe”, and “Spacewarp - Doomsday Comets and other Cosmic Catastrophes”, aimed at the 10+ age group.

Fred has an asteroid named after him (5691 Fredwatson), but says that if it hits the Earth, it won't be his fault...


The Cascade Restaurant is open for dinner after the talk with last orders at 7.45pm. We recommend that you book a table and order your meal in advance to assist the kitchen. Book your table now.


This talk is dedicated to Jeff Ogg, who died recently after a long and painful battle with Parkinsons Disease. It was his inspiration to start my (Marnie) endeavours with Astro-Tourism, to write to Fred Watson as a host and to lead groups around the world in pursuit of dark skies. We will miss his physical presence but know he is with us in our actions every day. 


Dianne Ogg, Matthew and Amy Young, Marnie and Fred Watson

We offer this talk to you free and encourage you to donate generously to the SHAKE IT UP for Parkinsons Research to assist others suffering from this horrible disease. DONATE NOW


  • 1 hour

    Doors open


  • General entry

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