The Sun is represented by the 37 metre Anglo-Australian Telescope dome at Siding Spring Observatory, 28 kilometres west of Coonabarabran on Observatory Road.
The Sun is the closest star to Earth. The ancient Romans named the Sun ‘Sol’ after their god of the sun. It is by far the largest object in our Solar System.
The International Astronomical Union has designated that 8 planets orbit the Sun (as do many other objects). For 76 years, Pluto was considered to be the 9th planet of the Solar System. However, in August 2006, it was reclassified as a dwarf planet.
At the scale of this Solar System model (1:38,000,000) the Sun would be the same size as the dome of the Anglo Australian Observatory which houses the giant 3.9 metre mirror Anglo Australian Telescope.
Coonabarabran, the ‘Astronomy Capital of Australia’ is home to Australia’s largest astronomy research facility. Maps and guides are available to assist your journey through the Solar System from Visitor Information Centres along the 5 tourist drives and from the Exploratory Centre at Siding Spring Observatory.