View Full Version here: : Early Australian Optical and Radio Observations of Centaurus A

23-10-2010, 05:12 AM
I wrote part of an article for the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia (PASA) a while back. It has just been published.
You can download it (3.4 MB) here: http://www.publish.csiro.au/nid/138/paper/AS09071.htm (http://www.publish.csiro.au/nid/138/paper/AS09071.htm)
My part was on the discovery of NGC 5128.

Abstract The discovery of the radio source Centaurus A and its optical counterpart NGC 5128 were important landmarks in the history of Australian astronomy. NGC 5128 was first observed in August 1826 by James Dunlop during a survey of southern objects at the Parramatta Observatory, west of the settlement at Sydney Cove. The observatory had been founded a few years earlier by Thomas Brisbane, the new governor of the British colony of New South Wales. Just over 120 years later, John Bolton, Gordon Stanley and Bruce Slee discovered the radio source Centaurus A at the Dover Heights field station in Sydney, operated by CSIRO’s Radiophysics Laboratory (the forerunner to CSIRO Astronomy and Space Sciences). This paper will describe this early historical work and summarize further studies of Centaurus A by other Radiophysics groups up to 1960.

23-10-2010, 07:53 AM
Hi Glen;

Thanks for your interesting thread. I haven't had a chance to read your article yet, but I most certainly will.

I've read with great interest, your previous posts about Dunlop and I reckon its really great to keep the memory of his prodigious observations alive. All done with a nine inch reflector too, eh ? Awesome.

There's lots more detail about Dunlop's observations in Glen's post (2 years ago and one year ago) ...here (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=34128&highlight=Dunlop) and here (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=47100&highlight=Dunlop&page=2).

Good onya, Glen. Dunlop was a true legend to the Aussie Astronomy world.

Francis Abbot (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=66552) in Tasmania, was also into cataloguing objects about 20 years after Dunlop too, eh?

Great stuff.


23-10-2010, 08:51 AM
Thanks Craig.
Dunlop was a great example of an Aussie battler.
The English upper class astronomers didn't have much time for him, and gave him little credit.
You can request a copy of the JAHH article here:

The article on Abbot was interesting.
I did pick up one error, it was Lacaille that named the southern constellations not Herschel.
"In his private observatory he [Abbot] pursued an active interest in astronomy and was amongst the pioneers to make observations from the southern hemisphere after Sir John Herschel (1792-1871) had named the constellations."