Mount Pleasant Radio Astronomy Observatory & Grote Reber Museum
The radio observatory has been operating for more than 20 years, with its distinctive 26m diameter radio "dish". There is an astronomy museum at the facility that showcases the life and work of Tasmanian radio astronomer, Grote Reber. The museum also showcases the radio telescopes and radio astronomy work of the University of Tasmania.
Grote Reber was the father of radio astronomy, being the first person to build a "big dish" antenna for the purpose of mapping the sky at radio frequencies. He discovered many discrete radio sources, and he mapped the band of bright radio emission from our galaxy, the Milky Way.
The museum has exhibits that show Reber's telescopes, his life's work, and his many other interests. A unique feature is Reber's original radio shack, the control building for the radio telescope array at Bothwell, which is installed at the museum with Reber's original radio equipment in place.
The museum also shows the radio frequency spectrum with graphic illustrations and physical demonstrations of electromagnetic waves. The radio sky is shown, with matching illustrations of galaxies as seen in the radio and optical spectrum data acquired by the Hubble Space Telescope.
A feature of the museum is a Virtual Reality Theatre, provided by the Swinburne University of Technology. The museum will show entertaining and educational movies and demonstrations in three dimensions.