Bathurst Observatory Research Facility

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  • Remember the milky way view I took with just the camera on the tripod? I also imaged this area around the southern cross at the time. Also of note is the talk on the Moon I am giving this Sunday, 11:30 am at the Australian Fossil and Museum  in Bathurst, Funds raised go to the museum (contact them for details!)
  • A quick update on comet Johnson. It is currently drifting through Virgo, a region rich in distant galaxies. See how many galaxies you can see! Mind you the comet is rather nice on its own.
  • NGC 4565. This galaxy is seen pretty much from side on. It is about 40 million light years away. From Australia, it is fairly low in the northern sky. I have spent the weekend preparing my public talk for next weekend. More details about the talk during the week.
  • Sometimes you need nothing more than a camera on a tripod! This image of the Milky Way was taken with my camera and a standard 35mm lens. It highlights the direction of the centre of our galaxy, star clouds and dark dust and gas that makes up our galaxy. It is sad to think most of  the world live in areas where you can no longer see the Milky Way due to light from towns and cities.
  • This galaxy, NGC 4945, is often overlooked due to its more famous neighbours (omega centauri and NGC 5128). The galaxy is somewhat side on, but very much like our own Milky Way. It is about 12 million light years away. See if you can spot a few other galaxies in the image as well. I must admit, this is a very photogenic area of the southern sky, not far from the Southern Cross!
  • Io and Europa cast shadows onJupiter
  • Saturn!
  • I just love some of these close up areas of the Moon
  • The Moon on the 31st of May 2017. This was a request from a young girl wanting the moon imaged "not a close up, but the whole moon".
  • Centaurus A galaxy (NGC5128), is an absolute standout of the southern skies.  The dark dust lane is the result  of this large galaxy merging with a smaller spiral. About 12 million light years away, I always knew this as the Hamburger galaxy as a kid!
  • Here is an image I promised of edge on spiral galaxy M104. It is about 30 million light years away. It is well known for the dark dust lane that encircles it. It is also known as the Sombrero Galaxy.<br /><br />
Still working on a new site, and would love to hear from any companies interested in sponsoring the educational museum.
  • A bubble of gas being shed by a dying star. This is NGC3242. It is a fairly complex nebula and the result of the inner star losing its outer layers. To me, it kind of looks like an eye staring back at you!
  • NGC 4038 is called the Antenna Galaxies. It is actually two galaxies in the process of merging into one. Streams of stars are being stretched out as a result, forming the antenna shape. The pair of galaxies are thought to be about 45 million light years away. I actually imaged this two months ago and forgot to post it!
  • As it is about 15 million light years away, it has taken light about this length of time to reach us from beautiful spiral galaxy M83. As such you are looking a long long time ago at a galaxy far far away. Just in time for Star Wars day on May 4th. Either way, M83 is a wonderful example of a spiral galaxy.
  • Known also as the Spindle Galaxy, NGC 3115 is about 32 million light years away.  It is lens shaped and maybe about 7 times bigger than our own Milky Way galaxy! (Still looking for that new site!)
  • NGC 5139 (Omega Cent) is a globular (round) cluster of stars, again, near the Southern Cross. It is about 16,000 light years away. It is truly one THE highlights of the sky this time of year. Just count the stars!
  • Time for things other than Jupiter! This is the Jewel Box cluster. It is very near the Southern Cross. Technically it is known as an open cluster, but I like the name Jewel Box, due to the different coloured stars. P.S Still looking for a new observatory site. There are a couple of options we are exploring, but still looking.
  • I do not normally like to make posts too frequent, but late last night there was just enough clear sky to image Jupiter again. I shared this as the Great Red Spot was visible and Jupiter's moon Io was casting its shadow on Jupiter as well.
  • Thank you for all the support about our announcement that we need to find a new dark sky site to relocate to. We are still looking! We are hoping for a new site to the north or south of Bathurst. Let me know if you hear of something with building permission, NBN and on a hill away from other lights! In the meantime, I imaged Jupiter on the 7th of April. See if you can spot Jupiter's moons Io in the left and Ganymede on the right. (Edit, The moons Europa and Callisto are also in the image, but more of a challenge to find! See how you go!)
  • Well here is the news....  <br />
Bathurst Observatory is looking for a new dark site to call home. Bathurst City is expanding and within a year or so, suburbia and other large developments will be within 2km of the observatory. Though this is great news for the growth of Bathurst, the associated lights and glare, spells the end of the observatory at the current location. Therefore, I need to find a new site! I am hoping to find a place about 10-15km from town, with NBN access, to rebuild and relocate everything (including our home). This needs to be done soon, due to building timeframes. I am hoping that there is a farmer with a suitable block with building permission out there that can meet our needs. The observatory is privately owned so we are also seeking sponsorships or grants so we can complete the move without interrupting current operations. However, it is exciting, as we would be able to offer better images, research and much greater tourism potential. A few other exciting plans would also come to fruition. The Bathurst Regional Council have been extremely helpful and is assisting us, but at this stage the future is still a little bit uncertain. I thank you in advance for all your support and once I find a place, I look forward to sharing the sky into the future!<br />
The image shows a new reservoir to service about 4000 homes viewed from the observatory.
  • A star is exploding (a supernova!) in a distant spiral galaxy. I have marked the star with the red tick marks. At present this exploding star is the brightest object in this galaxy. The galaxy  itself is numbered NGC 5643 in the constellation of Lupus and 60 million light years away. Over the past few days the exploding star has brightened significantly. (Though you do need a large telescope to see it)
  • With cloud and a bit of rain for the past couple of weeks, I have been unable to provide you with more images from the telescope. When it does clear, Jupiter will be a prominent object in the East,  not long after sunset. This computer simulation shows you where to look. If you have binoculars, try looking for Jupiter's moons too. P.S  I hope that locals south of Mt Hope turn up a meteorite soon from last weeks fireball. Info on the fireball is in the previous post.
  • I have a new toy to help me image planets. This is Jupiter on the 11th of March. With some practice, the images should get better. I look forward to sharing them.
  • I got asked if I could take an image of the whole moon. Here is the moon on the evening of the 6th of March. I hope not only the lady requesting it enjoys it, but everyone else as well.
  • NGC 2997, is about 25 million light years away. It is an interesting face on spiral shaped galaxy in the constellation of Antlia. I imaged this a one a month ago, and reluctantly posted it (galaxy images never seem popular), as it is too cloudy to do other imaging at present!
  • IC 2944, this interesting nebula is not far from the eta Carina.  If you look closely, you might see small dark areas of gas known as Bok globules. These dense areas may one day form new stars.
  • The eta carina nebula is an amazing sight. Best viewed from the Southern Hemisphere, it covers an area of sky greater than I can image! Lots of star forming regions and includes a super massive star (eta carina). I will delay our announcement until I have the media release prepared.
  • A somewhat fuzzy image of Jupiter. I  took this just on midnight on the 18th Feb. Jupiter will become a prominent object in the evening skies in coming months. Hopefully too, the images will get better!
  • NGC 2264, This area contains nebula with a few names, such as the cone nebula and the fox fur nebula. To me though, I just love the colour contrasts. I have a fairly major announcement in a week from now.

Photo Albums

Album: Lunar Eclipse images 8th October 2014<br />
20 Photos
Album: Observatory Images<br />
60 Photos
Album: April 2013 Images<br />
10 Photos

Contact Us

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
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