angry tapir writes "It is rare for a piece of scientific equipment to hold a place in a nation's heart. But 'The Dish' — the CSIRO's Parkes radio telescope — has in its 50 years come to mean a lot more to Australians that just a complex piece of technology. The telescope is a 64-meter diameter parabolic dish used for radio astronomy, located about 20 kilometers north of the town of Parkes, New South Wales — about 380 kilometers west of Sydney. It even has its place on the Big Screen, immortalized in the 2000 movie, The Dish. Opened on 31 October 1961, the telescope is perhaps best known to Australians for its role in the 1969 moon landing. On 8 and 9 October, the CSIRO will throw open its doors to the Australian public in celebration of its 50th anniversary."