Google Doodle Celebrates Parkes Observatory

The CSIRO Parkes Observatory gets its own Google Doodle today. Sure, it's not as fancy as, say, the Jim Henson or Freddie Mercury ones, but it recognises a key bit of Australian scientific history as the dish turns 50. The Parkes dish is the observatory made famous in "The Dish", but its role goes beyond the NASA moon missions; it's still in use today some 50 years since it was first opened. The site itself held open days earlier in the month. Just think about how far we've come in computing terms in the last 50 years, and consider that the dish is still in use, albeit a little more precise than it originally was. That's a bit of an understatement; the telescope's web page notes that it's more than 10,000 times more sensitive than when it was built.

Now, onto the important question -- what kind of gift is appropriate for a 50-year-old telescope? I'm guessing that they don't make underwear or hankies in that size... [Google]


    Last year I got myself bogged on the dirt road in my old XR6 directly down the street from the dish about 300m. The road turns sharply into dirt almost immediately after the dish - decided to have some fun in the mud and got my dumbass bogged haha.. Cleaners at the Dish gave me a lift back into town to the pub to find some friendly local guys who helped me out for a case of Bundy - we then proceeded to do doughnuts and burnouts in celebration!

    Great weekend! haha

      This is what I love about Australia. Only in Oz could a story about science end up in burnouts and bundy. :lol

    Tidbinbilla FTW yo! Keepin' it real on the South Sigh-eed!

    What does the word Dale? Spelled out in the stars mean?

      I think it's meant to be the -ogle in Google. You'll notice a solitary star to the left of the mountain under the second g (or the 'a' in Dale, i guess), which I assume is meant to imply the mountain is part of the hook of the g.

      The big satellite dish combined with the bushes below roughly resemble a lowercase 'g', and the smaller dish is easily reconcilable to a 'o'.

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