Thursday, January 17, 2013

siding spring obs fire: day 4

today, australian prime minister julia gillard will visit coonabarabran to talk with those affected by the fires, and convey her sympathy, concern and support.  she will be meeting with several members of the observatory staff. 

PM Julia Gillard visits Coonabarabran today (link)

sadly, several members of observatory staff have lost their homes, including john shobbrook, who shared the first visit to his property with the ABC news.   watch video here.

one of the big relief stories in the aftermath of the fires comes from the iTelescope team.  the project, finished just ONE WEEK before the fires, is installing a dozen robotic telescopes at a couple major observatories around the world, which can be used and operated remotely by amateur astronomers, educators, or anyone, really.   i had been watching their construction over the last couple months and its great news that their facilities received minimal damage.   you can catch photos and updates from them at the iTelescope facebook page.

physics world published an article about the fires at siding spring observatory.

and finally, a couple photos from timor road, the road leading past the observatory from coona, shared yesterday by matthew colless after his visit.

UPDATE (11:45):   prime minister julia gillard visited coonabarabran.  

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