Astronomical Observatory

Astronomical Observatory

The Macquarie University Astronomical Observatory has been operating since 1978 on campus. The Association for Astronomy was established in 1988 by Dr. Alan Vaughan to raise funds for further development of the observatory, which was moved to its present site in the early 1990s.

The three main activities are:

  • Teaching, with both undergraduate and postgraduate students learning how to use the tools of the trade located at the facility;
  • Research, with both temporary and permanent research instruments located on-site; and
  • Outreach, with public nights every Friday and Saturday evening, and private bookings held on other nights of the week, along with other special events hosted around the astronomical calendar.


Undergraduate Units in Astronomy

Session 1, 2020

Session 2, 2020

  • ASTR1020 – Other Worlds: Planets and Planetary Systems
  • ASTR2020 – Advanced Astronomy
  • ASTR3180 – Frontiers of Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • ASTR3020 – Extragalactic Astronomy


Although we are located in the Sydney Metropolitan area, we have had some recent success imaging deep-sky objects using our astronomical cameras.

MRes and PhD Research Projects

From time to time, postgraduate projects are conducted at the observatory. Optical astronomical equipment used in conjunction with the telescopes includes CCD cameras for imaging and photometry, and a single-fibre spectroscope for obtaining object spectra. For more information please go to the Higher Degree Research Page for the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

How to get Here

Location: Macquarie University Astronomical Observatory (map), Building W16A (end of N3 car park), off Gymnasium Rd, Macquarie Park NSW

The address of the is 5 Gymnasium Road, North Ryde 2113 NSW

The Astronomical Observatory is located on the northern grounds of Macquarie University, off Gymnasium Road, near the corner of Culloden and Waterloo Roads. Once on Gymnasium Road, take the first left onto the N3 car park. The observatory is at the northeast side of the lot – you can’t miss it. Casual parking fees apply from 6am to 6pm seven days a week. Parking is free after 6pm.

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