#PlacesOfNRM – Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory

The Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) was established in 2009 by Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

The MRO is a 12,600 hectare, purpose-built observatory that provides the CSIRO and other telescope operators with a fully-equipped site free from the impacts of human settlement. The site is protected from radio interference by the Mid West Radio Quiet Zone.

The MRO site is ideal for radio astronomy – having 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 those associated with the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project – 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.

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.

More information can be found at http://www.ska.gov.au/Observatory/Pages/MRO.aspx

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