by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Memento : Issue 35
16 NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF AUSTRALIA NAA: A1336, 10609 -- war had been declared only a few weeks before. Cook could make few assurances, but he promised to do what he could. Finally, in 1923, the government formally announced the establishment of the Commonwealth Solar Observatory, atop Mount Stromlo in the new Federal Capital Territory. In the meantime, a group of influential Sydneysiders had also set their sights on the sun. Impressed by the possibilities of CG Abbot's research, businessmen and scientists formed a Solar Radiation Committee in 1921. Their aim was to establish an observing station at the Riverview Observatory. Abbot provided advice and instruments, but the committee sought further government funding. They won the support of the Commonwealth Board of Trade, and a submission was presented to Cabinet arguing that the connection between changes in the weather and solar radiation had been 'scientifically determined.' What remained, it was stated, was to find 'the laws expressing the relationship between weather variations and solar changes in radiation.' Under a program of research such as that proposed by the committee, results were 'sure to follow in the long run.' A beguiling prospect Long-range forecasts were a beguiling prospect, offering those who made their living on the land relief from the cruel vagaries of nature. The Graziers Association of New South Wales embraced the promise of solar research, 'convinced of the enormous advantages which would be gained ... through accurate forecasts of weather being made for periods considerably longer than those which are at present possible.' The graziers joined a deputation to the New South Wales government in 1923, when geographer and meteorologist Thomas Griffith Taylor argued that a weather forecast six months ahead 'would be of more value than the many thousands spent on research in the hope of getting something out of irrigation.' NAA: A3560, 866 [left] Perhaps anticipating public interest in the eclipse, journalist CA Macfarlane submitted this booklet for copyright registration in August 1922. [middle] Founding director Geoffrey Duffield (left) at the site of the Commonwealth Solar Observatory, Mount Stromlo, in 1926. [right] The predicted path of the 1922 solar eclipse.