CSIRO's Australia Telescope Compact Array near Narrabri in New South Wales, marked its 25th anniversary on Monday.
CSIRO celebrated the anniversary with a public open day at the telescope site on Sunday, followed by a formal ceremony and a scientific meeting.
The Compact Array is a set of six dishes that work together as one much larger radio telescope.
Senior Systems Scientist for the Compact Array, Jamie Stevens said that during the past quarter century the Compact Array had studied black holes, exploding stars, magnetic fields in space and galaxies at the edge of the observable universe.
“The universe is a huge natural laboratory and astronomers study it to observe nature at its most extreme. Every possible experiment is being played out somewhere in the universe," Dr Stevens said.
“The Compact Array has given us the first 3D picture of the radiation belts around Jupiter … the first good evidence linking exploding stars with flashes of gamma rays … and the first image showing how gas churns in interstellar space.”
He said the telescope was so sensitive it would see a mobile phone on the Moon as a very strong radio source.
“The telescope has become better and better over time as upgrades have made it more sensitive to faint radio signals and allowed it to capture more of the radio spectrum,” Dr Stevens said.
“About 500 scientists from around the world use the telescope each year.”
The telescope was funded as a project for Australia's Bicentennial in 1988 and was opened by the then Prime Minister, Bob Hawke.
Edition 377, 3 September 2013