Orroral 85 foot antenna today

Orroral’s antenna gets a new life

After Orroral Valley closed in 1985, the 85 foot (26 metre) antenna was moved to Tasmania, where it became the large dish of the Mount Pleasant Observatory, operated by the School of Mathematics & Physics of the University of Tasmania.

The new location is 42 48' 18'' S, 147 26' 21'' E, at an elevation of 43 metres.

The dish is a key element in the Australian Long Baseline Array VLBI network. More info here.

It is the last 85 foot antenna from Canberra’s 1960s-era NASA tracking stations to still be in use.

Orroral Valley

In 2011, the antenna celebrated its 25th Anniversary as a radio telescope.

Our thanks go to Radio Astronomer Dave Jauncey for sharing this composite, using this photo by Dr. Jim Lovell and a photo of the plaque which was laid at the (re)opening.