Bathurst Observatory Research Facility

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  • I will be in Orange for an Astronomy Night on Wednesday the 20th! Hope to see you there!
  • All telescopic "eyes" will be watching Saturn on Friday evening (the 15th) as the Cassini space probe ends its mission of imaging Saturn and its moons. The probe is scheduled to burn up in Saturn's atmosphere and there is a very slight possibility it may be imaged from powerful telescopes on Earth. I did a practice run on the evening of the 10th of Sept to make sure all was working prior to this event.
  • NGC 6188 is a nebula about 4000 light years away in the constellation of Ara. A nearby star cluster causes the hydrogen gas to glow, while thicker regions appear dark. It is in areas like this that new stars are formed. I imaged this about a month ago!
  • Thank you everyone for the support after our relocation to a new site announcement! I tried something new on the evening of the 28th August. I tried to image the International Space Station. It is about 100m in size but 400km above us, therefore presents a REAL challenge to image (like imaging a football field 400km away!). This is my first attempt, so I hope they will get better next time I try!
  • The sun on the 20th August 2017 (9:15am local) imaged using our solar telescope. For my friends in the U.S, there is a significant group of sunspots (AR 2671) that should make for some great images for your total solar eclipse on Monday (for those in the U.S observe safely, and only image with the correct equipment). For everyone else, I hope you enjoy the image of the sun today!
  • A truly wonderful galaxy! This is NGC 6744, and it is located about 30 million light years away (in the constellation of Pavo). If we could look back on our own milky way galaxy from far away, this is pretty much how it would look. I will announce what is happening with the observatory and its future at the official opening of the observatory images and meteorites exhibition on Tuesday evening. I will then post information on this page!!!!
  • The Trifid nebula and surrounding milky way region. One of the best colour contrasts in the sky. The pink glow of hydrogen gas excited by young stars, and the blue light of stars being reflected off surrounding gas.
  • There are about 400,000 stars in globular star cluster NGC 6397. It is about 7,200 light years away in the southern constellation of Ara. I don't normally post images of these clusters, as they are not as visually stunning as nebula, planets etc!
  • I changed the configuration of the telescope for this image of M17, the Swan Nebula. Not sure if I like it or not! (For the technically minded, it was imaged at F7 rather than F2). The future of the observatory and maybe the new site, I will announce VERY soon.
  • Galaxy M83 was on my list to image last week. I know I have imaged this before, but there is just something wonderful about this barred spiral galaxy.
  • Something different. There is an exhibition opening in a few days of images taken from the observatory and some of the meteorites from the collection. I hope people can come and see!
  • Sometimes I actually image things by accident. The side on spiral galaxy is NGC 5746. I was using the bright star to the lower right to align the telescope and focus the image. When I checked the focus, I found I had the galaxy framed as well!
  • I find this area really eerie and interesting at the same time. This is the region around Rho Ophiuchi. There is a lot of dark gas and dust and the stars of Rho Ophiuchi are causing the nearby dust to reflect their blueish light. This is a region of star formation and is about 460 light years away. I hope you find it as interesting as I  do.
  • Comet Johnson is still visible with a telescope, but has faded a fair bit as it moves away from both Earth and the sun. I imaged the comet on the 12th of July, now the Moon no longer interferes.
  • The sun should be heading to its quiet phase in the 11 year cycle of activity. Therefore it is somewhat a surprise that the sun has a large sunspot group at the moment. I imaged the sun on the 9th and just 2 hours later the sunspot unleashed a moderate solar flare. Such solar flares can cause power surges and aurora here on Earth.
  • NGC 6334 is also known as the Cat's Paw Nebula. It is located in Scorpius and about 5,500 light years away. It is very faint and really only shows itself in photographs. Big news very soon!
  • The bright orange star is Antares, the heart of Scorpius. This giant star is shedding gas and dust (like carbon soot) which can be seen like an orange cloud extending away from the star. Also of note is a small globular star cluster, NGC 6144, often overlooked by the much brighter and larger M4 very close by.
  • 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.

Observatory Images [Back to Gallery]

Photo Albums

NGC 3201, a very loose globular star cluster
NGC 2808, Globular star clusters are a highlight on tours
Galaxy NGC 3621
Galaxy NGC 2997
Galaxy NGC 253.
Another older image of M83
Helix Nebula
Comet Lemmon. This was a highlight of Febraury and March 2013
The jewel box cluster
Comet Lemmon
M1, The crab nebula
A highlight of winter tours. M17, the swan nebula
M16, the Eagle Nebula
Star Cluster M22. I am planning a better image of this soon.
M20, The trifid nebula
Galaxy M31!
Globular star cluster M55
Galaxy M33.
Ring Nebula M57
Star cluster M79

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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