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ORM Talks: 61 years of the CSIRO Parkes Telescope

Fri 21 October at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Join us at Orange Regional Museum to learn more about a local icon and the critical role it has played into our exploration of space.

Guest speaker John Sarkissian OAM from the CSIRO Parkes Radio Observatory will take us on a journey through its history and into its future.

A glass of wine, delicious grazing platters and an afterhours viewing of Orange Regional Museum’s exhibition Mulaa Giilang: Wiradjuri stories of the night sky are included in your ticket.

For full details and to book a ticket, visit https://ormparkestelescope.eventbrite.com.au

Bookings are essential.

The CSIRO Parkes Telescope: Sixty-one years old, and still going strong

The CSIRO’s 64-metre Parkes Radio Telescope was commissioned on 31 October 1961. At the time, it was the most advanced radio telescope in the world, incorporating many new innovative design features that have since become standard in all large, dish antennas. Through its early discoveries it quickly became the leading instrument of its kind in the world. Today, 61 years after it was commissioned, it is still arguably the finest, single-dish radio telescope in the world. It is still doing world-class science and making discoveries that are shaping our understanding of the Universe. We take a look at the reasons for the telescope’s success and longevity, and peer into the near future to see what may lie ahead for it.

About our guest speaker

John Sarkissian OAM, is an Operations Scientist at the CSIRO Parkes Radio Observatory. His main responsibilities are the science operations at the radio telescope, and the support of remote astronomers with their observations. In addition, he is involved in pulsar research – an exciting field of radio astronomy.

John came to Parkes, in 1996, on an 11-month contract to support NASA’s Galileo Mission to Jupiter. He managed the daily Galileo spacecraft tracking operations at the observatory and performed 1/3 of the daily tracking duties. John has received NASA Group Achievement Awards for his work on “The Parkes Radio Telescope X-band Upgrade Task Team” in 2004, “The Huygens Probe Earth Detection Team” in 2005 and “The DSN-Parkes MSL EDL Support Team” in 2013. John has also received official NASA commendations for his Galileo support in 1997 and for the search of the missing Apollo 11 SSTV tapes, from Neil Armstrong, in 2010. From 2018-19, John managed the Parkes Voyager 2 tracking operations, as the spacecraft crossed the heliopause and moved into interstellar space.

In June 2016, John received an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, for “services to astronomy”.

John is now in the 26th year of his 11-month contract.


Fri 21 October
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Local government area
Visual arts, Photography, Heritage
Event contact details (phone/ email)
6393 8444 / museum@orange.nsw.gov.au


Orange Regional Museum
151 Byng Street
Orange, NSW 2800 Australia
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The What’s On calendar covers arts and heritage events happening across the NSW Central West in the local government areas of Bathurst Region, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Forbes, Lachlan, Lithgow, Mid-Western Region, Oberon, Orange, Parkes and Weddin.

Event listings are sourced or supplied from local venues and arts organisations. Many events listed here have been originally shared by the organisers on social media. Whilst all care is taken – and accuracy is our priority – we can take no responsibility for date changes or the content of contributed information. Contact the event organisers listed for more details or to book tickets.

The best way to include your event is to use our SUBMIT HERE form (under the What's On menu at the top of each page). These listings will be manually approved by the Arts OutWest team before publication.  Please allow a couple of days for listings to be published. If you have submitted an event and want to make changes just email us at artsoutwest@csu.edu.au

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