Bathurst Observatory Research Facility

Ph: 02 6337 3988 | Email Enquires:

  • Overall view of the comet from the 17th, near the Pleiades. High cloud tonight will likely mean you all get a break from seeing yet another comet image tomorrow!
  • A huge thank you to Mick Thurkettle, who today installed the 240V power supply to the observatory. If ever anyone needs Electrical work in this area, I suggest giving him a call (Piper Electrical and Communications). So today I dedicate the image of comet Q2 from last night (17th) to Mick for his work.
  • For those looking for the comet, here is a wide angle view from the 15th of January. The Pleiades can be seen lower middle. The comet will move slightly more and more towards the lower left over coming nights. So start at the Pleiades and look to their upper left (Australian observers that is).
  • Comet Q2 Lovejoy, 15th January 2015. Just love the rays in the comet tail. Will post more images soon.
  • Comet Q2 Lovejoy, image taken through the telescope on the 8th January 2015. Don't expect it to look quite the same with the eye or even through binoculars. I did view it through binoculars myself and could just make out the tail.
  • Here is a chart to help you locate Comet A2 Lovejoy during the next week. It is the view looking north from Australia at around 9:30 pm. Note the Pleiades lower left and the belt of Orion to the right. The comet is marked by the red cross. The comet should be able to be seen with the eye from rural skies. Binoculars will help. It will appear as a greenish fuzz, maybe a faint tail too!
  • The 1st quarter Moon is the best time to see a feature called 'The straight wall'. It is a fault line on the moon. To me, it kind of looks like a sword. You will need a telescope to see it, but fortunately, an easy target for pretty much all telescopes.
  • Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy is brightening and may soon be able to be seen without a telescope from a dark sky site. This December 21 image is a single 3 minute exposure through the telescope.
  • While imaging the Pleiades last night, I noticed a strange object travelling across the telescope's field of view. The object appears to be a small sleigh attached to reindeer shaped objects. I can only assume that it may in fact be Santa on a practice run for Christmas.
  • The sun today (18th Dec 2014). There have been some moderate solar flares. I hope a solar flare produces an aurora for Christmas. Actually, if you look carefully, the current sunspots almost trace out the shape of a Christmas Tree!
  • A big relief today as the observatory dome was placed on the walls. There is still some fine tuning needed on the shutter mechanism, and the lower walls need a clean. Once these tasks are done, the slow process of fitting out the inside can begin.
  • Comet 2014 Q2 Lovejoy is in the Southern sky at present. It is too faint to see without a telescope, but this image shows it to have a faint tail. While waiting for the telescope to capture the image of the comet, I also enjoyed watching some meteors.
  • One of the reasons why there have not been too many space images is that we have had a run of storms of late. This was Friday the 5th.
  • Old sunspot 2192 (now called 2209) is still producing strong solar flares. At present, it has not rotated around enough to affect Earth. It doesn't look quite as big as last time around.
  • There are some rather underrated galaxies in the southern Hemisphere. NGC 1566 is one of them. It is a nice spiral galaxy and rates as a favourite this time of year. This is an older photo, as I plan to re-image it with the research telescope, once it is in place. The observatory rebuild is just on hold few a couple of weeks, as I have to save up  a bit to buy some parts I need.
  • Sorry for another sun image, but the sunspot group 2205 has been producing some significant solar flares. There was a fairly strong flare over the weekend that might produce aurora visible from mid latitudes either very late on the 10th or in the early hours of the 11th. The moon may interfere with viewing these.
  • Sorry for the lack of space images of late. I admit that the observatory project is taking up a lot of my time! However, the image today is that of Globular star cluster NGC 104. Though I took this  a while ago, it is a favourite cluster of mine, and now is the best time of year to see it. Tonight I am also giving a presentation to councils across the region of the potential for space related tourism in the area.
  • Started cleaning the dome panels. The foreground one is a 'before' panel, while those in the background are 'after'. Still a lot more work to do, but it is hoped that the reassembly can occur in 2 weeks.
  • Monday the 27th begins the relocation of the observatory back to the research site. A crane will be used to lift the dome off the walls and then each component will be disassembled and trucked back to the research site for refurbishing and reassembled. For those that have asked, yes, I am funding this out of my own pocket. It has been suggested to try crowd funding, but I am embarrassed to ask people to help.
  • AR2192 is the largest sunspot in many years. It has a very complex structure and now that it is 'aimed' at Earth, the potential for a powerful solar flare! 22nd October 2014.
  • Sunspot AR2192. The dark core of this monster could fit 2 Earths inside it! It will be interesting is a couple of days when the sun rotates more to get a better view. Image 19th October 2014. There was a disaster last night While testing the research telescope. The camera control cable had got caught and with a loud crack, snapped when the telescope moved. I now have no control cable and hope the camera is not damaged. What is my chance of finding one today?
  • One image of the lunar eclipse of the 8th of October. I promise to upload more as soon as facebook allows me!
  • I have completed the re-wiring of the mount for the research telescope and just need to wait on a few parts for the telescope. Once the parts are installed, the telescope will be ready for testing. The picture is of the mount. However, I have given up on trying to get a transport company to relocate the observatory building as a whole. They have not been very helpful, so though having the telescope almost ready, I have nothing to put it in! I can assemble the telescope outside for testing (then pull it apart again at the end of the testing session). As for the building, it looks like I will be forced to disassemble the whole thing and return it bit by bit.
  • Spiral galaxy NGC 7793. It is about 13 million light years away. I hadn't imaged it before, as it is hard to find a guide star to lock onto for tracking. September 2014.
  • (last post today, I promise!) After being very quiet for a few weeks, the sun has developed another large group of sunspots. While this group has the potential for a strong solar flare, they remain calm. Image 24th Sep 2014.
  • Comet 2014 E2 Jacques. Though a very faint comet that is now heading away from the sun, it still shows a tail and the faint green glow of gases around its coma. (Sept 23rd, 2014). This is a single unprocessed image.

Bathurst Observatory Research Facility

Bathurst NSW Australia

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Bathurst Observatory Research Facility is an observatory site primarily for education, research and study, though we do offer general public viewing nights.


Open Nights Star Tours.

Open Nights Star Tours

Bookings essential for all tours.

(All tours subject to weather)


Night Tours for January 2017 will be at 9:30pm

Tours are generally on Friday and Saturday Nights, please see below for days and dates scheduled.


Scheduled Tour dates:-

 January 2017 Tour Dates

 Friday the 20th and Saturday the 21st

Friday the 27th and Saturday the 28th


Bookings essential.

Please note that the main telescope is pretty big and requires use of a small stepladder for viewing. Please advise if you would have difficulties with steps and we can set up a different telescope.


There are no tours for the week near Full Moon. The moon is too bright to see the stars.

In addition to normal tours, midweek tours can be arranged (except Sundays) for groups of 10 or more.
* There may be some mid week research nights where tours are not available.

Tours Prices

Costs :

Adults $15 per person

Children/Concession $10.00 per person

(Note: we have NO credit card facilities)

Tour bookings and enquires, phone (6337 3988), or email us. (Email is by far the best way to get us, if you don't get a reply it means you have us blocked!!! Please change your settings!).

How to find us? See Location!



Why "Open Nights"?

Bathurst Observatory in eveningWe used to do tours in the observatory dome. However, we found that the dome itself blocked out most of the night sky! Our visitors wanted to view through a telescope but be able to see and hear about the wonders of the night sky at the same time. We particularly had many visitors from urban areas wanting to see a nice dark country sky full of stars. The solution, set up the public telescope as nature wanted us to, on cleared ground next to the observatory, under the wonder of the Southern stars.

Our tours are conducted with the only guide with over fifteen years educational astronomy experience and with Bachelor of Education Honours Degree! Our guide is also an internationally recognised expert in the field of meteorites.

Tours require bookings and are weather dependent. (We can't see stars through clouds!) Tour duration is about 1 hour, depending on time of year.

We cater for all school astronomy and space excursions, as well as general public telescope tours of the night sky. Primarily we offer our open night tours to inspire everyone to look to the night sky.

The Milky Way stretches overhead in this view taken at the Bathurst Observatory Research Facility - 6th July 2013The Milky Way stretches overhead in this view taken at the Bathurst Observatory Research Facility.
The Bathurst Observatory Research Facility (Research and Meteorite Related Enquires and Public Viewing Nights)

The Bathurst Observatory Research Facility, located on the current site on Limekilns Road north east of Bathurst. At the research site, we study, comets, asteroids, variable stars, meteors and meteorites. For research related enquires phone (02) 6337 3988.

We also welcome any enquires or questions you may have on Astronomy, Space or meteorite related matters.

Our facebook page is regularly updated, so have a look for the latest news and images from the observatory.


Other Tours

Meteorite and Mineral Display

Solar Telescope Tours (Viewing the Sun)

On occasions, we are able to offer daytime telescope views of the sun. We have a special telescope that allows you to SAFELY view the sun. At present the availability of these tours will depend on three factors.

  1. that I'm available on the day.
  2. it is not cloudy.
  3. that the sun has some active features.

The third point is important, as sometimes the sun can be quiet and not as interesting to see.

These tours will be about 15 minutes in duration and by gold coin donation. Bookings for a solar tour would be essential.


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    Bathurst Observatory Research Facility

    (Open Night Tours, Research and Meteorite related enquires)
    624 Rossmore Park, Limekilns Rd, KELSO NSW 2795. Australia
    Phone: 02 6337 3988 | International: +61 2 6337 3988
    Email Enquires:


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