Fred Watson

Astronomer, Writer, Science Communicator, Illustrator

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...

Something to read ?

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$35 - signed by author
(Inc postage)

Fred Watson has covered the big space questions for adults, now Australia’s very own Astronomer-at-Large Fred Watson embarks on a grand tour of the Universe especially for children. From stargazing to telescopes, space travel to black holes, killer asteroids to aliens, Fred covers every question kids might ask about space — and then some! With incredible illustrations by Fred himself, and a quirky mix of mind-boggling facts, Spacewarp is a fascinating book that kids will love — and parents and friends will undoubtedly learn a thing or two as well!


Age range 10+

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$16.50 - set of 10
(Inc postage)

Spacewarp - a collection of blank cards that can be used for all occasions. 


10cm x 14cm with envelope

$30 - signed by author

The history of the telescope is a rich story of ingenuity and perseverance involving some of the most colourful figures of the scientific world. It begins in ancient times, gathers momentum through the Renaissance, with the first recorded telescope bursting onto the scene in the middle of a diplomatic crisis in seventeenth century Holland, and takes us to the limits of space with the cutting-edge telescopes of today.

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$25 - signed by artist 
(Inc postage)

Spacewarp the calendar -


Featuring 12 of the best images from the book and a daily lunar calendar for 2022.

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$30 - signed by author
(Inc postage)

In this light-hearted, informative and engaging book, Fred travels to some of those far-flung destinations as he weaves the epic story of humankind's growing understanding of the Universe. It's a grand adventure and the Professor is a witty, funny and knowledgeable companion. Come along on a journey that is sure to take you out of this world...

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$35 - signed by author
(Inc postage)

Watson presents the most up-to-date knowledge on everything from light echoing around the cosmos, the mechanics of black holes and how to navigate the hidden delights of nightfall, to the most profound questions facing humankind. With mind-bending stories from the frontiers of science, Cosmic Chronicles is an expert’s view of what we know and how we know it.

$30 - signed by author
(Inc postage)

Have you ever wondered what dark matter is or why galaxies collide? Or why the Moon is gradually drifting away from Earth? Space is really, really big, as Douglas Adams once pointed out, and there is no better guide to it than Fred Watson, astronomer to the stars.Fred Watson has taken the many, many questions that have been asked by listeners of his popular, long-running radio shows, and answered them in Why Is Uranus Upside Down?

** Includes postage to Australian cities. Please contact us for international sales.

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