Fire threatens top Australian telescope site | Pakistan Today

Fire threatens top Australian telescope site

A top Australian research observatory home to several global telescopes was under threat from wildfires Sunday as hot weather and lightning storms stoked scores of new blazes.
The Rural Fire Service (RFS) of New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, issued an emergency warning for an out-of-control fire raging towards the Siding Spring Observatory, a remote global research facility. “About a dozen isolated properties at Mt Woorut, including Siding Spring Observatory, may come under threat,” the RFS said. “Police are evacuating the area. Firefighters and waterbombing aircraft are on scene.”
Siding Spring, a mountain-top site in the Warrumbungle ranges about 500 kilometres (310 miles) north-west of Sydney, houses 10 operating telescopes run by Australian, Polish, British, Korean and American researchers. Administered by the Australian National University’s research school of astronomy and astrophysics, Siding Spring is the nation’s top optical and infrared observatory and one of the top facilities of its kind in the world. Large parts of Australia have sweltered under extreme heat in the past week, sparking hundreds of wildfires that have destroyed more than 100 homes. The RFS said lightning storms started about 40 new fires overnight, fanned by strong winds, though most were in remote areas and not a threat to properties.



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