View of the observing site, showing partially erected observing huts, Solar Eclipse Expedition, Goondiwindi, Queensland, Sep 1922.

In 1922, Victorian Government Astronomer Pietro Baracchi led a Melbourne Observatory solar eclipse expedition to Goondiwindi, Queensland, joining with another group from Sydney Observatory.

The purpose of the expedition was to test Einstein's general theory of relativity. Einstein's theory predicted that the light travelling to us from stars should bend as it passed the Sun, due to the curvature in space-time created by the massive object. A solar eclipse expedition in 1919 had found such a bending of the light, but in 1922 it was still important to undertake confirming observations. The Goondiwindi expedition was not very successful, as they were unable to take sufficiently precise photographs to test the theory.

The US Lick Observatory's group at Wallal, Western Australia, succeeded in making observations that confirmed Einstein's theory.

Description of Content

Erection of tents for equipment during solar eclipse expedition, Goondiwindi, Queensland, September 1922. Expedition led by Joseph Baldwin, Government Astronomer, Melbourne Observatory.

More Information