The Sound of the Universe Singing


May 2009
The Sound of the Universe Singing on ABC 360.



Fondly known by the locals and staff alike as the Dish, the CSIROs radio telescope outside the town of Parkes in western New South Wales is regarded as one of the most beautiful telescopes in the world.

And even though its more than 40 years old, constant upgrades have kept it at the forefront of radio astronomy. To celebrate the international Year of Astronomy, writer and documentary maker Alana Valentine travelled to Parkes and spent two weeks living in the observers quarters at Parkes, alongside men and women from around the world who in their daily lives live and breathe and dream the mysteries at the far reaches of the Universe.

We join Alana as she talks double pulsars with scientists, the nature of space time with theologians and the perils of keeping the whole thing ship-shape with the cleaners. Along the way we meet local school children, farmers, storekeepers and tour operators who share a common affection for a structure that put their town on the scientific map.

And we hear, for a moment, the sound of the Universe singing.


More works