Bathurst Observatory Research Facility

Ph: 02 6337 3988 | Email Enquires:

  • I have recently re-opened the museum housing our mineral, fossil and space related displays. It had been closed for a few years, but a recent clean up has allowed it to be viewed again.
  • The new telescope controller (brain) for the research telescope. It requires a rewiring of the old mount and a few other modifications. (As I said earlier, it would have been cheaper to replace the whole mount). However, I am looking forward to seeing how it all works. Perhaps just over a week to do all the work required.
  • While I do have telescopes that can zoom in close on the Moon, sometimes I enjoy the wider field offered by one of my smallest telescopes. This image was taken to commemorate the 46th anniversary of Apollo 11.
  • Comet C2014Q1 Panstarrs is faintly visible in the evening twilight sky. It can be just picked up with binoculars about 7 degrees to the left of Jupiter. This image is taken with a fairly small telescope from the observatory on the 20th July 2015. It will get a bit higher in the sky each night (to the left of Venus), but the brightening Moon will make it harder to see.
  • For the first time in over a week, the sky was clear enough to image. I wanted to image the M20 nebula, but the result is not quite as good as I wanted. It is ok, but not perfect. I do like the colour contrasts. I will image it again in about 2 weeks.
  • New Horizons has made its historic flyby of Pluto. It was programmed to collect as much data as it could and later send it back to Earth (over coming weeks). Some images have been received, with many more to come. The image below is credited to NASA, and the New Horizons team. More images are available on the New Horizons web site.
  • Winter down under is the best time to view the milky way. This image was taken from the observatory site. One reason it is so prominent this time of year is that the area of the milky way we see is in the direction of the rich central part of our galaxy. The dark areas are actually gas and dust in our galaxy, that may one day form new stars.
  • 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.

Bathurst Observatory Research Facility

Bathurst NSW Australia

Please like our Facebook page for latest news and images!

https://www.facebook.com/BathurstObservatory/

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 September 2016 will be at 7:45 pm

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

 

Night Tours for October 2016 will be at 9:00pm

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

 

Scheduled Tour dates:-

September 2016 Tour Dates

 

Friday September 23rd and Saturday 24th

Friday September 30th.

 

October 2016 Tour Dates (Note; Daylight Saving Summer Time has Started so Tours at 9:00pm)

 

Saturday 1st October and Sunday 2nd October (Long Weekend)

Friday October 7th and Saturday October 8th (Note; Race weekend)

Friday October 21st and Saturday October 22nd

Friday October 28th and Saturday October 29th

 

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 (02 6337 3988), or email us. (Email is by far the best way to get us).

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 ten 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. You may also, view the meteorites and mineral and fossil display that we have at the research site.

Our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BathurstObservatory/ 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:
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BathurstObservatory/

     

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