Yesterday (Jan. 12) bushfires swept through Australia's Warrumbungle National Park, home to Siding Spring Observatory. The telescopes there appear to have escaped harm, but some support facilities and staff homes were destroyed.
Wildfire Damages Siding Spring Observatory
Right now more than 170 wildfires are burning portions of New South Wales in Australia — 50 of them uncontained. One of the affected areas is Warrumbungle National Park and, within it, Siding Spring Observatory — the crown jewel of Australian optical astronomy. Late yesterday afternoon a fast-moving bushfire overran a portion of the observatory compound.
Siding Spring is a sprawling facility operated by Australian National University. It is home to 10 professional optical telescopes (and three others that have been decommissioned), a 22-meter radio dish, and a just-completed complex of amateur robotic telescopes owned by iTelescope.net.
More - Link >>> http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/Wildfire-Overruns-Siding-Spring-Observatory-186700031.html
Source: Sky and Telescope Magazine.
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