Fred Watson's homepage

Fred Watson is Astronomer-in-Charge of the Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO) at Siding Spring near Coonabarabran, NSW, and Project Manager for the international RAVE radial velocity survey of a million stars.

The AAO operates Australia's largest optical telescope (the 3.9-m Anglo-Australian Telescope) and its wide-field companion, the 1.2-m UK Schmidt Telescope. Funded jointly by the Australian and British governments, the AAT provides front rank observing facilities for astronomers world-wide. The Schmidt Telescope is funded by the International RAVE Consortium.

Contact details: Fred Watson, Anglo-Australian Observatory, Coonabarabran, NSW 2357 phone 02 6842 6301  fax 02 6842 2266 e-mail

Photo (left) courtesy University of Oxford. The one on the right was taken in a different universe.

Stargazer - the Life and Times of the Telescope

Fred's lively account of the telescope and the extraordinary people who created it was released in Australia by Allen & Unwin in 2004. It is now available in paperback, published in the USA by Da Capo. There is also a Dutch edition, Sterrenkijker,  published in Holland by Athenaeum.  Read some reviews of Stargazer.

Popular Science: Fred has weekly astronomy segments on ABC radio - statewide with James O'Loughlin (Mondays, 21:40), and with Adam Spencer on Sydney's ABC 702 Breakfast Show (Thursdays, 06:20). He also has frequent slots with other ABC presenters. See Richard Glover's Drive Show website for podcasts of Self-Improvement Wednesday, on which Fred is a contributor. The transcript of a recent TV interview on Channel 7's Sunday Sunrise can be found here.

Talks and appearances: Fred has a busy speaking schedule, ranging from science venues like Science in the Pub, Australian Geographic and the Australian Museum to schools talks and community groups. He has a special commitment to science outreach in the bush. Contact Fred for further information.

Scientific activities: a summary of Fred's work at the Anglo-Australian Observatory and a selection of recent books, articles and technical papers.

Further info: A biography containing more information than you'll ever need. Links to the 2003 David Allen Prize, and the 2006 Eureka Prizes.

Some other astronomy sites:
Spectacular astronomical images from the AAO.
Who's using the telescopes tonight? Observing schedules for the AAT and UK Schmidt.
Virtual reality tours of the AAT, including the outside panorama from the dome.
Find out what's happening in your skies with Heavens Above.
Watch Patrick Moore's The Sky at Night  with BBC Online.
For history buffs, the History of Mathematics archive at St Andrews is invaluable.

Page maintained by: Fred Watson, AAO

Latest revision:  4 September 2006