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The first Sydney Observatory time ball was dropped at noon on 5 June 1858 

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The most important role of the observatory was to provide time through the time-ball tower. Every day at exactly 1.00 pm, the time ball on top of the tower would drop to signal the correct time to the city and harbour below. At the same time a cannon on Dawes Point was fired, later the cannon was moved to Fort Denison. The first time ball was dropped at noon on 5 June 1858.
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Sydney's coldest morning in a year

Don't let the clear skies and sunshine fool you - it's Sydney's coldest morning in a year.
Just before sunrise, Sydney's Observatory Hill recorded a temperature of 5.5 degrees, which is 2.5 degrees below average, weatherzone.com.au senior forecaster Alex Zadnik said.

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The Sydney Observatory (02 9921 3485) offers Cool Saturn Winter Nights, with telescope viewings and a visit to the 3D Space Theatre (family $47) at 6.15pm and 8.15pm each day except July 5, 7 and 14. On these nights, there are special pizza dinners for families, at 6.15pm, that also include pizza, drinks and a Milky Way bar for dessert (family $85). Bookings are essential for night tours.
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Sydney Observatory's Name a Star program

For $300 you name a date and the observatory chooses a star that is visible for seven weeks either side of that date. They then send you its exact location, its brightness level and the co-ordinates for viewing with the naked eye, binoculars or telescope. For an extra $50 you can have a private viewing through the observatory's telescopes for four people.
The money from naming stars helps fund the observatory's work.

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Ed ~ this site does not endorse this fundraising activity by the Sydney observatory, which borders on the dishonest.
If you wish to make a donation, then do so; but do not unofficially name a star.



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Stargazing at Sydney Observatory

For an adventure of astronomical proportions, head to the Sydney Observatory during the spring school holidays.
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The Sydney Observatory invites space explorers and stargazers to begin the International Year of Astronomy with them. Programs include 3D telescope guided tours; creating your own planet explorer hovercraft; "Bigger than Big" amazing distances and black holes; a young space explorers' party day on Wednesday January 21; and Australia Day celebrations with the viewing of the partial solar eclipse.

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It may have been the first major construction project to be cancelled by a NSW government.
In 1801, 13 years after the First Fleet's arrival, fears for the security of the infant colony were rising.
So in 1804 work began on Fort Phillip. To stand on what was then Windmill Hill, the township's highest point, it would be in the shape of a hexagon, with stone walls several metres thick.

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