Bathurst Observatory Research Facility

Ph: 02 6337 3988 | Email Enquires:

  • I actually imaged this over a week ago. Again, it is an area of the milky way, rich in stars and star forming nebula. I should be doing another imaging run during the coming week. This area is in the tail of Scorpio.
  • A longer exposure to bring out Jupiter's moons.
  • Crescent shaped Venus and Jupiter close up.
  • Venus and Jupiter at sunset.
  • Venus and Jupiter get even closer in the north western sky. On the 30th of June I will host a special viewing night for the conjunction of these two planets (their closest). Starting at 6:00 pm, bookings will be essential. email or message me if interested.
  • After taking the image of the planets, I decide to image M8, The Lagoon Nebula. Winter is one of the best times for viewing nebula. M8 is a glowing cloud of hydrogen gas and dust, in the process of forming new stars. (20th June 2015)
  • The Moon, Venus and Jupiter form an interesting triangle at sunset 20th June. (Duck out for a look before they set!)
  • So much easier going back to my smaller imaging telescope while I contemplate the research telescope! This is the region around galaxy NGC 5363. There are a lot of galaxies in this view, including a wonderful spiral one! This part of the sky though seems like a satellite highway. Notice the streaks near the top from the passing satellites.
  • Globular star cluster M4. I imaged this about 2 weeks ago, but it has been pretty cloudy since! What I like about M4 is the distinct 'bar' of stars in the middle. M4 is very close to the bright orange star Antares in Scorpius.
  • Doesn't look like I will be using the telescope tonight. Mother nature still put on a show though at sunset. 22nd May.
  • NGC4565 is a spiral galaxy seen edge on. Much tweaking with the guidance system on the research telescope produced this test image. I will reimage this galaxy again soon. May 2015.
  • The old radio telescope sits near the observatory. It no longer functions as the hardware to operate it was installed inside a long gone computer. There is a new USB model of the hardware available which would have the radio telescope going again. It would cost $1000. With it, students can do studies on solar flares, Jupiter, meteors and more. I might need to find a sponsor!
  • NGC 5128. Sometimes called the 'Hamburger'. This galaxy has a prominent dust lane through it. The dust lane is the result of two galaxies merging.
  • The mountains of the Moon. Image 27th April 2015.
  • More storms tonight, and rain forecast for the next week. So it seems the observatory imaging program is still on hold. Sorry!
  • My favourite nebula is eta carina. I use it to take test images or sometimes just to stare at for ages.
  • The Jewel Box star cluster. Located very near the Southern Cross. Much happier with the guiding system. Only a few minor tweaks to go.
  • The Sun, 13th April. After being quiet for a few weeks (since a solar flare produced widespread aurora), a new large group of sunspots has formed. They have the potential for another major solar flare. It will be interesting to watch their progress in coming days.
  • A single image of galaxy M104. Still not happy with the guiding. So much so, that today I have now reconfigured the whole autoguiding system. Now have to await a clear night to test it.
  • It was upsetting to have to cancel the lunar eclipse tours. I sat outside staring at the base of the clouds. I had a telescope next to me, but feeling very disappointed. Then, by a miracle, a small gap in the clouds appeared mid eclipse. I was able to get a few images before the clouds came back. Lunar eclipse 4th April 2015.
  • 27th March, 1st quarter Moon. Coming up on the 4th of April is a lunar eclipse!!!! More on this in a few days! In the meantime enjoy the moon as it is tonight.
  • Galaxy M83. Taken with the research telescope, March 2015. I admit that I am somewhat frustrated that tracking still isn't quite right.
  • Sometimes when you look at space with the telescope, it looks right back at you! This is called a planetary nebula. It is actually the gas or outer layers being shed by a dying star. Mar 2015.
  • Another cloudy night, so I have an image from earlier. This is also the nebula I had hoped to image again tonight. It is very near the famous M42 nebula in Orion. However, this one, M43 is often overlooked. Just love the colours in it!
  • Jupiter shines brightly in the North Eastern sky after sunset.  Getting images of planets is VERY tricky. This is from the 8th of March 2015.  Planets, though bright, have a very small angular size due to their distance from Earth. It requires a long focal length to begin to see details.
  • I haven't posted an image of the Sun for a while because, basically, not much has been happening! There is a group of sunspots rotating around though that are producing strong flares. The group does not look that impressive, but we will see it better in the next few days.
  • Just below the middle of this image of the Moon, near the shadowed region, is Promontorium Heraclides. I like it, as it kind of resembles a cameo of a lady with flowing hair.
  • There has been a run of afternoon and evening storms for a few days. Though it means I can't use the telescope, they have delivered much needed rain.... and interesting sunsets.
  • NGC 2997 is a fantastic spiral galaxy. This image is with my smaller telescope. Sometime (once the weather clears), I will image it again with the research scope! P.S Media release next week on a major new exciting project. If you are an educator, it is big news.
  • Part of the Eta Carina Nebula. This was another test image with the research telescope. The Moon was in the sky, which brightens the background. But this is a single image, guided for 2 minutes. The image was important to test the new adjustments to the guiding facility of the telescope. Still not quite perfect, but better than before.
  • So I spent another 4 hours calibrating the mount, with likely another 4 hours more to go. I still can't do the long duration star images I need to do, but short images, like the Moon are ok.
  • The research telescope is installed and ready to go. A night of testing is planned. Sometime soon the telescope will receive a new controller (brain) that will replace the current one used for testing.
  • Just arrived in the mail! Thank you Ian Macleod for this donation of a Boxhole, N.T iron meteorite to the observatory collection. It will be a terrific addition.
  • 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!

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 May 2017 will be at 7:30 pm

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


Scheduled Tour dates:-

 May 2017 Tour Dates

Friday the 5th and Saturday the 6th

Friday the 26th and Saturday the 27th

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. This unfortunately means no tours Easter Weekend.

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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