ACT Heritage Library Manuscript Collection

HMSS 0314 Mt Stromlo Observatory, the Aftermath

Scope and Content Notes 

Call Number

HMSS 0314

Collection 

Mt Stromlo Observatory, the Aftermath

Date Range

2003

Quantity

0.02m (1 album)

Access Conditions

open

Copying conditions

with attribution

Related Collections

HMSS 0238 Wrap Up Canberra Records
HMSS 0291 Our Community Remembers Saturday January 18 2003
HMSS 0317 Newell-Sutherland Photographs
HMSS 0332 Keira Bulbs 2003 Bushfire Photographs
HMSS 0339 Canberra Alpine Club Photographs
HMSS 0340 Patricia Frei photograph collection
HMSS 0343 ACT Bushfire Support Unit Photographs and electronic documentation
HMSS 0358 Sarah Sowry 2003 Bushfires Diary
HMSS 0462 Bibaringa Homestead Photographs - Before and After the 2003 Bushfire

Denise Sutherland, a Canberra author, puzzle-writer and artist, and her husband Ralph have a long association with Mount Stromlo. Ralph Sutherland is an astronomer at the Australian National University, and Denise’s father Barry Newell is an astrophysicist and was the Administrator of Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories of the Australian National University.

On 23 January 2003, just five days after the bushfires wiped out much of Mt Stromlo, members of staff were taken through the ruins. All the telescopes had been destroyed; the steel dome of the 74-inch telescope survived but the smaller telescopes had aluminium domes which melted. The workshops, the Administration Building which also housed the library, the Director’s residence and several other residences for staff and visiting students were destroyed. The Visitor Centre, on the northern side of the ridge, had survived but was smoke damaged, and the Woolley and Duffield Buildings and some residences on the southern side also survived.

Most of these photographs were taken by Denise and Ralph on 23 January; the last five were taken on a later visit, after the external debris had been removed and the site made secure.

Image List 

Image Number

Description

Date

1

Road to Mt Stromlo at the intersection with Cotter Road

23 January 2003

2

Lower end of the Mt Stromlo road

23 January 2003

3

Burned pine trees on the Mt Stromlo road

23 January 2003

4

Burned pine trees on the Mt Stromlo road

23 January 2003

5

View south through burned pines towards the Cotter Road

23 January 2003

6

Shell of a residence

23 January 2003

7

Shell of the residence in image no. 6

23 January 2003

8

Shell of a residence

23 January 2003

9

Remains of House no. 9 (Newells’ home from ca 1984-1991)

23 January 2003

10

Ruins of house next door to no. 19

23 January 2003

11

Shell of a residence

23 January 2003

12

Burned out car and garage at house no. 18

23 January 2003

13

Children’s playground and shell of a brick building behind the trees

23 January 2003

14

Shell of a residence

23 January 2003

15

Site of house no. 19 (the Newells’ old home, which had been removed by the ANU some years earlier)

23 January 2003

16

Ruins of a residence

23 January 2003

17

Duffield Building, southern facade from below

23 January 2003

18

Shell of the Director’s residence

23 January 2003

19

Shell of Farnham telescope dome at the western end of the Administration Building

23 January 2003

20

Shell of Administration Building, from the eastern end

23 January 2003

21

Looking through a window of the Administration Building library at ashed files on sagging shelves

23 January 2003

22

View through an eastern end window of the Administration Building to the western wall

23 January 2003

23

Ashed files and books in the Administration Building library

23 January 2003

24

Ashed files and books in the Administration Building library

23 January 2003

25

Ashed files and books in the Administration Building library

23 January 2003

26

Back corner of the eastern end of the Administration Building, looking west

23 January 2003

27

Internal courtyard of the Administration Building

23 January 2003

28

View into the Administration Building from the courtyard

23 January 2003

29

Ruins of the 50-inch Great Melbourne telescope

23 January 2003

30

Ruins of the 50-inch Great Melbourne telescope

23 January 2003

31

Debris from the aluminium dome outside the 50-inch Great Melbourne telescope

23 January 2003

32

Interior of the dome of the 50-inch Great Melbourne telescope

23 January 2003

33

Interior of the dome of the 50-inch Great Melbourne telescope

23 January 2003

34

Shell of the Mechanical Workshop

23 January 2003

35

Shell of the Mechanical Workshop

23 January 2003

36

Shell of the Optical Workshop from the eastern end of the Mechanical Workshop

23 January 2003

37

Shell of the Uppsala telescope dome

23 January 2003

38

Interior of the Uppsala telescope dome

23 January 2003

39

Main entrance and part of the dome of the 74-inch telescope

23 January 2003

40

Dome of the 74-inch telescope

23 January 2003

41

Interior of the 74-inch telescope dome

23 January 2003

42

Remains of the 74-inch telescope

23 January 2003

43

Shell of the Yale-Columbia telescope dome

23 January 2003

44

View through a window of the interior of the Yale-Columbia telescope dome

23 January 2003

45

74-inch telescope dome, and the Visitor Centre at right behind the trees, looking west

23 January 2003

46

Debris inside the Yale-Columbia telescope dome

23 January 2003

47

Open space near the Director’s residence; car park at top left

23 January 2003

48

Car park and open space near the Director’s residence

23 January 2003

49

View to the Brindabella Ranges from the road near the petrol pump, west of the Mechanical Workshop

23 January 2003

50

Rear of the Woolley Building

April 2003

51

Front entrance of the Administration Building

April 2003

52

Protective wire fencing around the Administration Building

April 2003

53

Close-up view through the front door to the back of the Administration Building

April 2003

54

Entrance to a wing of the Administration Building from the courtyard

April 2003