Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory

In 2009, Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) established the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Western Australia. The MRO is a 12,600 hectare purpose-established radio astronomy observatory that offers the CSIRO and other telescope operators a fully-equipped telescope site free from the impacts of human settlement. The site is protected from radio interference by the Mid West Radio Quiet Zone.

Ten ASKAP dishes at the MRO site.
Ten ASKAP dishes at the MRO site.
ASKAP dishes silhouetted against the Milky Way. Image credit: Alex Cherney/
ASKAP dishes silhouetted against the Milky Way. Image credit: Alex Cherney/

The MRO is ideal for radio astronomy. The site exhibits excellent sky visibility, superb radio quietness, upper atmosphere stability, and favourable weather and climate. The extremely low levels of radio-frequency interference allow highly sensitive telescopes such as ASKAP, MWA and SKA to conduct ground-breaking astronomy research.

The Australian SKA Office and CSIRO acknowledge the Wajarri Yamatji as traditional custodians of the land of the MRO site. An Indigenous Land Use Agreement with the Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation provides permission for the CSIRO to establish and operate certain telescopes and infrastructure on the MRO site.

 ASKAP antenna at the MRO.
 ASKAP antenna at the MRO.
  ASKAP antenna at the MRO.​
  ASKAP antenna at the MRO.

The MRO is wholly situated on the 346,000 hectare Boolardy pastoral station, approximately 315km north-east from the city of Geraldton. Due to the extremely sensitive nature of the telescopes at the MRO and ongoing construction activities, the MRO is not publicly accessible.

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