Ray Pickard

Bathurst Observatory Meteorite Museum Building

The Bathurst Observatory Research Facility has recently moved location. We are in the process of building the Meteorite Museum shed. The Meteorite Museum will provide a space to display our meteorite, public education and video conferences into schools.

Bathurst Observatory Research Facility, Australia, has one of the only public displays of meteorites in NSW west of Sydney in our Meteorite Museum. We have over 200 specimens to be displayed, ranging from witnessed falls to historical pieces. You will be able to come and see our display of space models, minerals, fossils and meteorites.

Approval for the stage 1 components of the project have been obtained from Bathurst Regional Council.

The funding goal is to reach $45,000 which will cover the cost of concrete slab, the cost of the shed and construction. 

CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT OUR PROJECT

Plan of the Meteorite Museum shed.

Plan of the Shed

Museum site pegged and ready to go.

Museum site pegged and ready to go

The meteorite museum aligns with the observatory’s work on asteroid, comet and  other astronomical research as well as public education and outreach.

We also study meteorites as part of our research goals, and have published a number of papers about meteorites.

We can also offer some services to meteorite collectors and researches wishing to display their specimens.

Some meteorites from the Bathurst Observatory collection

Iron meteorites will look like rusty lumps of iron, and unlikely to be found in humid or wet areas , as they rust away fairly quickly Iron meteorites will look like rusty lumps of iron, and unlikely to be found in humid or wet areas , as they rust away fairly quickly

 

Some of our displays below.

Museum Display

Museum Display

Museum Display

Museum Display

Museum Display

General space image from our observatory

General image from our Observatory

ABOUT US

The Observatory is currently privately owned and had operated at its old site on Limekilns Road, Bathurst since July 2000. In 2018, it was decided that the observatory should relocate to a much better site due to housing and other development at our previous site. Light pollution from developments would have rendered the old site impractical for further astronomy. As such, the old site has been sold and we have purchased a new site, further from Bathurst (at Billywillinga), which has much better observing sites, not only for tourism, but for research and professional/amateur astronomers as well.  We aim to provide multiple viewing experiences rather than one off options, to encourage multiple visitation.

The observatory is only one of its type in the region and will offer experiences and tour options no similar facility will offer. Its location and night activities will ensure overnight stays within the region or at our guest cottage.

TIME FRAME

The new observatory still in the construction and planning stage though will operate from late 2019, early 2020. A key goal is planning and ensuring the new site is developed to meet identified needs. This will ensure its adaptability now and into the future. However, current Bathurst Observatory telescopes are now being relocated to the new site, as well as the meteorite research collection and much more!

Some key aspects of the initial timeline;

* Relocation of the public outreach and imaging telescope with the observatory’s iconic dome.

* Set up of the public viewing telescopes and area.

* Construction of the meteorite research building (with displays)

* Availability of sites for setting up your own equipment

* Opening of the guest accommodation and planetarium in stage 2

The Bathurst Observatory’s iconic dome

The Bathurst Observatory’s iconic dome, soon to relocate to the new site. It houses our research and imaging telescope

Inside Bathurst Observatory’s iconic dome
Inside Bathurst Observatory’s iconic dome

Future stage 2 items for inclusion will be approval additional cabins and telescope sites as demand increases.

Note the planetarium is a fully modern computerised system and has an advantage in that it is portable and can be taken to schools, community events, as well as serve at the observatory site. It does not require an additional building, though provides an all-weather option for tours.

FURTHER INFORMATION

For more information about Bathurst Observatory Research Facility please visit our website at: https://bathurstobservatory.com.au/

and our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/BathurstObservatory/

Artist's impression of the new site

Bathurst Observatory has moved location

Bathurst Observatory is adding new facilities. .
Your Contribution of any amount will go towards:

Support for Bathurst Observatory is much appreciated!

Donations

$1,145 of $10,000 raised

Any amount is welcome!
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Donation Total: $25.00

Thank you to the following Contributors, Bathurst Observatory appreciates your support.

GH

Gayathri Haridas

April 12, 2021

Can't wait to see it

Amount Donated
$25.00
RH

Rama Haridas

April 12, 2021

Great Work

Amount Donated
$25.00
AF

Amanda Foxon-Hill

May 6, 2020

Thank you for your work in illuminating the night sky.

Amount Donated
$100.00
Anonymous User

Anonymous

December 20, 2019

Amount Donated
$25.00
TL

Trevor & Tina Leaman

October 24, 2019

This world class facility will be an asset to the Central West. Hope it re-opens soon.

Amount Donated
$100.00
TB

Thomas Brooks

October 8, 2019

Amount Donated
$25.00
CK

Casey Kristeff

September 1, 2019

Looking forward to seeing the works commence

Amount Donated
$25.00
MM

Marian Matchett

June 16, 2019

I really enjoy all your fb posts & photos - good luck with the move!!

Amount Donated
$10.00
RT

Ronda M Tester

June 8, 2019

Amount Donated
$100.00
SR

Steve & Sandy Riley

June 8, 2019

Amount Donated
$25.00
RG

Robert Gurber

June 8, 2019

Amount Donated
$50.00
DA

Deb Aldridge

May 25, 2019

Amount Donated
$500.00

News

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Update: I ignored advice and went up the ladder and managed a temporary fix. The observatory is at least operational again!

In good news (kind of) while the observatory isn't functional until I get the repair done, that will not affect the proposed first astrophotography class!! I shall post the date for that very soon (July) and likely run two dates in case people need an option.

Not much progress on the observatory repair as yet. The dome isn’t closing properly and needs a few parts fabricated and fitted to the upper shutter (top of the image). I did get the parts today but it will take a couple of helpers to fix. Sadly I’m on my own this weekend. Basically, if you look at the image, you will notice the upper dome has sagged a bit in the middle, causing it to hit the lower one. The fix will be a threaded rod inside to tighten it up and give it the shape back. My back injury is still a worry, so while I'm on my own, I'm not climbing the ladder!
... See MoreSee Less

Update: I ignored advice and went up the ladder and managed a temporary fix. The observatory is at least operational again!

In good news (kind of) while the observatory isnt functional until I get the repair done, that will not affect the proposed first astrophotography class!! I shall post the date for that very soon (July) and likely run two dates in case people need an option.

Not much progress on the observatory repair as yet. The dome isn’t closing properly and needs a few parts fabricated and fitted to the upper shutter (top of the image). I did get the parts today but it will take a couple of helpers to fix. Sadly I’m on my own this weekend. Basically, if you look at the image, you will notice the upper dome has sagged a bit in the middle, causing it to hit the lower one. The fix will be a threaded rod inside to tighten it up and give it the shape back. My back injury is still a worry, so while Im on my own, Im not climbing the ladder!

Comment on Facebook

At least you know what is wrong with it and have the parts ready to go.

Yes, don't take any chances with your health. Be safe.

Take care.

While out imaging comets last night, the observatory had a mechanical issue with the dome. I am hoping to fix it Saturday so it doesn’t cancel tours but admit I’m not overly hopeful I can fix it in time for this or even next weekend. Fingers crossed. If the weather forecast is correct, it may be raining anyway. ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

I would say you will have time to fix it. 🌧🌧🌧🌧

Fingers and toes crossed for you.

I caught up with comet Pons Brooks again on the 28th May. Imaged with the C14 at F2. The anti-tail is looking more prominent and a few rays in the ion/dust tail. ... See MoreSee Less

I caught up with comet Pons Brooks again on the 28th May. Imaged with the C14 at F2. The anti-tail is looking more prominent and a few rays in the ion/dust tail.

Comment on Facebook

Well done. Amazing captions. 👏 👏👏

Nice work

Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) imaged on the 28th of May. The comet is lower right of the image (so I could keep the two galaxies in the frame). This comet 'may' become a bright object low in the predawn sky during early October. In the meantime, it is showing a nice dust tail as it draws near the sun in coming months ... See MoreSee Less

Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) imaged on the 28th of May. The comet is lower right of the image (so I could keep the two galaxies in the frame). This comet may become a bright object low in the predawn sky during early October. In the meantime, it is showing a nice dust tail as it draws near the sun in coming months

Comet Pons Brooks is finally high enough in the west that I can use the research telescope to image it. This image was taken on the 27th of May. It is now much faded, but shows a really nice sunward anti tail as well as gas and dust tails. It will continue to fade as it moves away from the sun and Earth, though getting a bit higher in the sky, so perhaps I should get better images. ... See MoreSee Less

Comet Pons Brooks is finally high enough in the west that I can use the research telescope to image it. This image was taken on the 27th of May. It is now much faded, but shows a really nice sunward anti tail as well as gas and dust tails. It will continue to fade as it moves away from the sun and Earth, though getting a bit higher in the sky, so perhaps I should get better images.

Comment on Facebook

I got some shots and stacked them tonight, I thought something may have gone wrong but I see your photo is like mine, the shape has changed! But yours is quite better, I have to get away from the town light.

I no longer have a telescope, but doing ok with Nikon d5600 and 300mm lens at Molong.

Awesome

There was much excitement over last night massive Auroral storm (rightly so!!). The conditions have settled for the time being so I again turned my attention on a rare clear night to how comet Pons Brooks is going. The comet is showing a nice dust anti tail, as well as ion and dust tails. Image 12th May. I likely won't image the comet again until after the Moon has passed out of the evening sky. ... See MoreSee Less

There was much excitement over last night massive Auroral storm (rightly so!!). The conditions have settled for the time being so I again turned my attention on a rare clear night to how comet Pons Brooks is going. The comet is showing a nice dust anti tail, as well as ion and dust tails. Image 12th May. I likely wont image the comet again until after the Moon has passed out of the evening sky.

Comment on Facebook

Brilliant. Is the Aurora visible tonight??

There is so much happening out there. Lovely shot of the comet.

Colin Pickstone

Despite a LOT of cloud, I was able to see and image a few glimpses of the Auroral storm on the late evening of the 11th of May. The pink colour was visible to the eye. I was surprised how bright it was. If only I had a larger break in the clouds, as the vertical banding was muted by the cloud haze. I guess though, the clouds did make it more eerie. These images were around 11:00pm. ... See MoreSee Less

Despite a LOT of cloud, I was able to see and image a few glimpses of the Auroral storm on the late evening of the 11th of May.  The pink colour was visible to the eye. I was surprised how bright it was. If only I had a larger break in the clouds, as the vertical banding was muted by the cloud haze. I guess though, the clouds did make it more eerie. These images were around 11:00pm.Image attachmentImage attachment

Comment on Facebook

For those asking if it will happen again tonight--- as the solar storm which caused it is not as big as the previous two it is not touted to be as bright as it was over the past few nights. Please note cameras pick up more light than the human eye- so what you see in photos is NOT what you see in real life (maybe a haze and some beams if you're lucky)..... And if you DO decide to go out and try to capture it--- rug up-- it kinda gets cold out there in the middle of the night) 😉

Thoughts on tonight's possibilty?

Sydney was pouring-an aurora is on the bucket list. Dang.

Great pics Ray considering that cloud last night 👍

Awesome photos

Glenda Twemlow now you’ve seen it !!

Very nice 👍

Lovely.

Amelia Williamson

Sue Priest

Melanie Hibbert Adam Brace

Margaret Vanags Lynn Scully

Tania Dalzell

Nic Booth

Tabitha

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