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The Canberra Times
The Canberra Times
Kerem Doruk

Times Past: February 4, 1981

On this day in 1977, ANU's Mount Stromlo astronomers made headlines after discovering a star being born outside our galaxy in the Milky Way.

The discovery was made on January 15 with the four-metre telescope at the Siding Spring Observatory, near Coonabarabran, and subsequently checked using the 1.9m telescope at Stromlo.

The protostar, as a star is called before it begins to twinkle by emitting visible light, was found in what astronomers call region N159 of the nearest galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud, about 150,000 light years from Earth.

It was officially announced at Mount Stromlo by two of the astronomers, Dr Harry Hyland and Dr Terry Jones, both of the ANU.

The front page of The Canberra Times on February 4, 1981.

Dr Jones said, "We use what we know about physics here to ask ourselves what the universe is all about; how it began and so on. This protostar shows us that the physics going on next door to our galaxy is at least the same".


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