relativity, cosmology, astronomy, special relativity, general relativity, astrophysics, Einstein’s relativity, spacetime, cosmos

Observatories

Places of Astronomical Interest

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Following is a list of places of astronomical interest. Locations below cater to the public in regards to tours and/or displays. Some also offer accommodation.

State Area Facility
 
New South Wales & ACT Bathurst Bathurst Observatory Research Facility
  Canberra Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (Tidbinbilla)
  Blue Mountains Crago Observatory
  Parkes CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope
  Cowra Darby Falls Observatory
  Dubbo Dubbo Observatory
  Sydney Green Point Observatory
  Cessnock Koolang Observatory and Space Science Centre
  Blue Mountains Linden Observatory
  Sydney Macquarie University Observatory
  Canberra Mt. Stromlo Observatory
  Port Macquarie Port Macquarie Observatory
  Bathurst Ryder Homestead Observatory
  Coonabarabran Siding Spring Observatory
  Sydney Sydney Observatory
  Narrabri The Australia Telescope Compact Array – Narrabri
  West Sydney University of Western Sydney Observatory
  Coonabarabran Warrumbungle Observatory
  Wollongong Wollongong Science Centre and Planetarium
 
Queensland Bundaberg Alloway Observatory
  Charleville Cosmos Centre and Observatory Charleville
  Maidenwell Maidenwell Astronomical Observatory
  Springbrook Springbrook Mountain Observatory
  Brisbane The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium
 
South Australia Flinders Ranges Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary and Resort
  Adelaide The Heights Observatory
  Stockport Stockport Observatory
  Adelaide University of South Australia Planetarium
  Woomera Woomera Observatory
 
Tasmania Launceston Launceston Planetarium
 
Victoria Melbourne AstroTours
  Ballarat Ballarat Municipal Observatory
  Melbourne Melbourne Planetarium
  Melbourne Old Melbourne Observatory
 
Western Australia Perth Gingin Observatory – The Space Place!
  Perth Perth Observatory
  Pingelly Pingelly Heights Observatory (Astro Ventures)

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Bathurst Observatory Research Facility

Dedicated mainly to meteorite research, the Bathurst Observatory Research Facility is open by request to view the large collection of meteorites on display. A new telescope will be in operation in 2010 for the study of comets and asteroids, call for tour information.

Address: 624 Limekilns Road, Bathurst NSW 2795
Contact: Bathurst Observatory Research Facility (02) 6337 3988
Web: http://www.bathurstobservatory.com.au

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Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (Tidbinbilla)

The complex is located 35km southwest of Canberra (Tourist Drive 5) and is a major link in NASA’s Deep Space Network. Tidbinbilla sends and receives radio signals from distant spacecraft as they explore our Solar System and beyond. The centrepiece is the 70-metre antenna, the largest in Australia. The Visitor Centre incorporates audio/visual presentations, exhibits, models and images from the spacecraft. A highlight is an actual Moon rock. The MoonRock Cafe and giftshop is available for meals and souvenirs.

Address: Tourist Drive 5, Discovery Drive (off Paddy’s River Rd), Tidbinbilla
Hours: 9am to 5pm, 7 days per week (except Dec 25)
Cost: Free.
Contact: Glen Nagle or Candy Bailey (02) 6201 7838 / 7968
Web: http://www.cdscc.nasa.gov/

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Crago Observatory

This observatory is operated by the Astronomical Society of NSW. It is located on Bowen Mountain near North Richmond (northwest of Sydney). It houses a 40cm Dobsonian telescope. The observatory is open on Saturday nights nearest to Last Quarter Moon. Visitors most welcome.

Address: Burralow Fire Trail, Bowen Mountain
Hours: 8pm till late
Cost: Donation
Web: http://www.asnsw.com/crago/index.html

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CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope

The famous Parkes observatory, ‘The Dish’, is located 20km north of Parkes (just off the Newell Highway). This landmark radio telescope is nearly 50 years old, but still considered to be one of the best single dish radio telescopes in the world. As well as a great view of the telescope, the visitors centre has displays, audiovisual and 3D presentations. There is also the Dish Cafe and a picnic area with free gas barbecues. Souvenirs and educational material are available.

Address: CSIRO Parkes radio telescope, Newell Hwy (PO Box 276), Parkes NSW 2870
Hours: 8:30am to 4:15pm – daily except Christmas and Boxing Day
Cost: Admission to the visitor’s centre is free. A modest charge is made for the audio visual and 3D presentations.
Contact: (02) 6861 1777
Web: http://www.csiro.au/parkesdish

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Darby Falls Observatory

The observatory is located on Observatory Road (off the road to Mt. McDonald) Darby Falls, Cowra.

Contact: Mark Monk (02) 6345 1900 fax (02) 6345 1920

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Dubbo Observatory

Dubbo’s ‘Star Attraction’ is located next to the world renowned Western Plains Zoo. Stage one of the observatory is running, which includes viewing the night sky through three 300mm Schmidt Cassegrain telescopes and large binoculars. There is a well-stocked gift shop and cafe. An eighteen hole mini-golf course with an astronomical theme is open during the day.

Address: 17L Camp Rd (PO Box 308) Dubbo NSW 2830
Hours: Open daily except Monday (and Christmas) from 10am until late. Bookings essential for night sessions.
Cost: Adults $15, family of four $42
Contact: Peter Neilson ph (02) 6885 3022, fax (02) 6885 3012

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Green Point Observatory

The observatory is operated by the Sutherland Astronomical Society (SAS) in Sydney. The building houses 41cm and 35cm telescopes. Visitors are welcome any Thursday night, with guest speakers on the 1st Thursday of the month. The society also run regular open nights for the general public.

Address: Cnr Green Point & Caravan Head Roads, Oyster Bay (PO Box 31, Sutherland NSW 1499)
Hours: from 8pm
Cost: Gold coin donation appreciated
Contact: Secretary (02) 9589 1014 (voicemail)
Web: http://www.sasi.net.au

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Koolang Observatory and Space Science Centre

Located on the border of the Central Coast and Lower Hunter, the centre is no more than two hours from most Sydney and Newcastle suburbs. Bookings are essential. Koolang staff have also developed curriculum and theme based presentations to cover all school levels K-12.

Address: Great North Road, Bucketty NSW
Hours: Group bookings 7 days and nights. Individuals and families Friday and Saturday nights. Night shows start about an hour after sunset. Starting times 8pm for 8:30 or by arrangement.
Cost: Public night shows: adults $17, concession $15, child $12; group discounts available; special prices and hours for schools (subject to change without notice).
Contact: (02) 4998 8216
Web: http://www.koolang.com.au

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Linden Observatory

WSAAG (Western Sydney Amateur Astronomy Group) holds observing nights, where anyone can drop in and look through their telescopes. Observing nights are usually held on Saturdays closest to the New Moon. Dates can be obtained by visiting the WSAAG website.

Address: 105 Glossop Road, Linden NSW 2778
Cost: Donation to Linden Trust at $5 per person
Contact: Western Sydney Amateur Astronomy Group
Web: http://wsaag.org/index.php?/Linden-Observatory.html

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Macquarie University Observatory

Located on the Macquarie University campus at North Ryde, this observatory is open to the public on Friday nights unless raining from March to November inclusive. Astronomy students will guide you with a range of telescopes. On cloudy nights, the program includes slide shows and Solar System demonstrations.

Address: Macquarie University via Culloden Rd
Hours: 7:30pm to 9pm (Apr – Oct), 8:30pm to 10pm DST (Oct, Nov, Mar and Apr).
Cost: $10 adult, $5 child/student/concession, $25 family.
Contact: (02) 9850 4409 for bookings.
Web: http://www.astronomy.mq.edu.au/observatory/

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Mt. Stromlo Observatory

The oldest fully operational research observatory in Australia, Mt Stromlo Observatory (along with its sister observatory at Siding Spring) is part of the Australian National University’s Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Once housing telescopes dating back to 1868, Mt Stromlo Observatory was devastated by the fire storms of 18 January 2003. Although Mt Stromlo Observatory no longer has any operating research telescopes, the School has built another telescope (Skymapper) at Siding Spring which will replace much of its lost capabilities.

Address: 15 minutes from Canberra City, Mt Stromlo Observatory, off Cotter Road, Weston Creek, ACT (On Tourist Drive 5)
Hours: Site open 9-5 seven days.
Cost: Free.
Contact: (02) 6125 0230
Web: http://www.mso.anu.edu.au/

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Port Macquarie Observatory

This facility, operated by the Port Macquarie Astronomical Association Inc., is situated in Rotary Park (opposite Town Beach) Port Macquarie.

Address: PO Box 1453, Port Macquarie NSW 2444
Web: http://www.pmobs.org.au

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Ryder Homestead Observatory

As well as providing accommodation in self contained log cabins, Ryder Homestead offers guests guided star gazing tours. Located 30 minutes north of Bathurst the Homestead enjoys very dark country skies.

Address: 130 Thompson Street, Wattle Flat NSW 2795
Cost: Homestead guests free, otherwise adult $10, child $6
Contact: Rodney Watters on (02) 6337 7171
Web: http://www.ryderhome.com.au

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Siding Spring Observatory

Siding Spring Observatory is currently home to thirteen telescopes, domes and enclosures. The operational telescopes include Australia’s two largest optical telescopes – 3.9m Anglo-Australian Telescope and the ANU 2.3m Advanced Technology Telescope. There are telescopes operated or owned by a number of different educational and research institutions, including the Anglo-Australian Observatory, Australian National University as well as the UNSW. The Uppsala telescope, jointly operated by ANU and University of Arizona, operates as the southern partner in the Catalina Sky Survey funded by JPL NASA. There are telescopes operated by the University of Seoul, South Korea as well as the Faulkes South Telescope, operated by Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network. The Australian National University’s robotic survey telescope Skymapper was officially opened in May 2009 and the newest telescope being completed in 2009 is the HAT-South Project, a set of eight 0.18m astrographs being used to search for transiting planets. Siding Spring nestles into the Warrumbungles at the entrance to the national park, 30 minutes west of Coonabarabran. The Visitor’s Centre includes a cafe serving light meals, morning and afternoon teas, souvenir shop and astronomy exhibition. From the Visitor’s Centre, there is access to the viewing gallery for the 3.9m Anglo Australian Telescope. The Exploratory offers hands on displays, videos and much more. Special tours of the site can be organised on request for groups. An open day is generally held in late October in conjunction with the Warrumbungle Festival of the Stars.

Address: Observatory Rd, Coonabarabran NSW 2357
Hours: 9:30am to 4pm Monday to Sunday except Christmas and Good Friday.
Cost: Exploratory: adult $5.50, child/pensioner $3.50, family $13.50. Contact them for tour pricing.
Contact: (02) 6842 6255, fax (02) 6842 6240
Web: http://www.sidingspringexploratory.com.au

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Sydney Observatory

This is Australia’s oldest observatory, situated near The Rocks on Observatory Hill and overlooking Sydney Harbour. It offers a 3-D Space Theatre and telescope tours, fascinating historic and interactive displays and night telescope tours (which include stargazing through the observatory’s telescopes). There is also a mini-planetarium on offer during wet weather. Day tours include the 3-D Space Theatre, a dome tour and solar viewing (weather permitting). Sydney Observatory is part of the Powerhouse Museum.

Address: Watson Road, Observatory Hill, The Rocks Sydney
Hours: 10am to 5pm. Day 3-D Theatre tours run at 11am, 12noon, 2:30pm and 3:30pm weekends and school holidays, 2:30pm and 3:30pm on school days. Night sessions are held every night of the week. Bookings required for evening tours. Closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day.
Cost: See their web site
Contact: (02) 9921 3485
Web: http://www.sydneyobservatory.com

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The Australia Telescope Compact Array – Narrabri

The Australia Telescope operates in the radio region of the spectrum. It uses high technology to combine the signals from a number of dishes, to obtain the performance of a single theoretical dish a number of kilometres in diameter. The Compact Array is located at CSIRO’s Paul Wild Observatory near Narrabri. It consists of six 22m dishes, five of which are spaced along a 3km track with the sixth a further 3km to the west. From the visitor’s centre there are great views of the dishes, displays and video presentations.

Address: 1828 Yarrie Lake Road, Narrabri NSW 2390
Hours: 8am to 4pm daily; unstaffed, except by request for groups (15+).
Cost: No charge to visit the centre. For groups requesting a staff guide there is a charge of $3 weekdays, $5 weekends per person and three weeks notice required.
Contact: Outreach staff (02) 6790 4070
Web: http://www.csiro.au/narrabriobservatory

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University of Western Sydney Observatory

The UWS Observatory is open to the public and runs public astronomy nights, school, holiday and group programs during the day or evening. It features a 0.6 metre (24 inch) telescope which is available for night viewing by the public.

Hours: See web site for details.
Cost: Adult $12, child/concession $8, family $35
Contact: Roslyn McCourt (02) 4736 0135
Web: http://www.uws.edu.au/observatory

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Warrumbungle Observatory

The observatory is located at Coonabarabran and is open to the public for night viewing through a number of telescopes. Visitors are encouraged to bring SLR cameras to take astrophotographs of the planets, star clusters and nebulae. The observatory can be hired by the more serious amateur astronomer to take advantage of the 14inch telescope and CCD for astrophotography and photometry. There are piers available for common telescopes that amateurs wish to bring along. The site also hosts remote observatories utilised by our Northern Hemisphere cousins.

Address: Timor Rd, Coonabarabran, NSW 2357
Hours: 90 minute night sky and telescope viewing times vary depending on the time of year and bookings are essential.
Cost: Adults $15, school age children $5
Contact: Peter Starr 0488 425 112
Web: http://www.tenbyobservatory.com

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Wollongong Science Centre and Planetarium

Operated by the University of Wollongong, this public science centre includes a planetarium (BlueScope Steel Star Planetarium), observatory, laser light shows, extensive interactive exhibits, demonstration theatre (Illawarra Coal Science Theatre), and a gift and resource shop. The Planetarium has a state of the art Zeiss ZKP3 star projector, laser projector and full-dome show projector. The observatory houses a high quality computer controlled telescope which is used to observe the Sun and stars. The Science Shop has one of the most extensive ranges of science educational materials in Australia, including telescopes.

Address: Science Centre, Innovation Campus, 60 Squires Way, Fairy Meadow 2519
Hours: 10am to 4pm, 7 days. Bookings are also available out of hours and there are scheduled astronomy evenings.
Cost: Child $7, concession $8, adult $10; discount on planetarium show tickets when purchased with general entry.
Contact: (02) 4286 5000 (ext 3) fax (02) 4283 6665
Web: http://sciencecentre.uow.edu.au

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Alloway Observatory

The observatory, situated approximately 6 km south of Bundaberg, is operated by The Bundaberg Astronomical Society. The 6 metre dome houses a 480mm Newtonian telescope and a 14 inch computerised Meade telescope with CCD imaging using an ST8E. The observatory opens to the public on Friday nights. Midweek opening also arranged for large groups.

Address: PO Box 4221, South Bundaberg Qld 4670
Hours: Every Friday night, other nights by appointment.
Cost: $15 family; $8 adult; $4 child, discounts for groups.
Contact: Mac Jonsen (07) 4153 6469 or (07) 4159 7232 (ans. service)

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Cosmos Centre and Observatory Charleville

The public observatory is located on Cunnamulla Rd, near the Charleville airport. The Centre includes an observatory for night viewing of the stars and planets. During the day, a theatre presentation, seven interactive displays and two mini talks – an update on the latest discoveries in the Solar System and a meteorite talk where the collection is taken out of the cabinet for you to hold. Special programmes arranged for groups and schools. Sun viewing is also available through the telescopes (bookings essential).

Address: PO Box 681, Charleville 4470
Hours: High season (April to October): observatory opens every night (bookings essential). Daytime centre open daily 10am – 6pm.
Low season (November to March): observatories open Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat nights (bookings essential). Daytime centre open Mon – Sat 10am – 5pm.
Cost: General observatory session from $24 adult, $50 family (2+2), $22 senior or student.
Contact: Jane Morgan (07) 4654 7771
Web: http://www.cosmoscentre.com

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Maidenwell Astronomical Observatory

The observatory is open to the public every day except Wednesdays from 2pm. They are located on a disused sports field in the heart of Maidenwell – 30km east of the Bunya Mountains, 2.5 hours drive northwest of Brisbane and 40km south of Kingaroy. Stargazing sessions run seven nights a week. Star Theatre show times are 2pm and bookings are essential. On sunny days, see live colour video images of the Sun in Hydrogen Alpha light projected onto a giant screen inside. At night, view the Cosmos through three Meade LX200 GPS 14″ telescopes. They give special audio/visual presentations to schools and social groups and have full wheelchair and amenities access. Camping and cooking facilities are available on site. The roll off roof observation deck can seat up to 35 people at a time. They sell astro equipment and conduct an astronomy course in August each year.

Address: Main Rd, Maidenwell Qld 4615
Hours: Spring/Summer: Open from 2pm, night sessions start at 7:30pm.
Autumn/Winter: Open from noon, night sessions start at 7pm.
Cost: Discount applies to 30 or more adults.
Contact: Bookings are essential for Star Theatre and/or Stargazing sessions, phone (07) 4164 6194 or 0427 961 391
Web: http://www.starsabove.com.au

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Springbrook Mountain Observatory

Springbrook National Park is high in the McPherson Range, and the Observatory is located 700m above sea level away from light pollution. The drive from Surfers Paradise is only 45 minutes. This National Park is World Heritage Listed, with fabulous short and long bushwalks. There are four major waterfalls, and views from 1000m into the caldera to Mt. Warning, and the coast. Holiday accommodation is available and can be booked at our office number for overnight or longer, for those who would like to visit the Observatory at night and bushwalk during the day.
The observatory is open to the general public, astronomical groups, schools, and researchers by appointment. This facility houses a number of telescopes for night time viewing. A Colorado telescope for daytime solar prominence observation and sunspot viewing. Remote viewing is now available using a C14 with an Apogee U9000.

Address: 2337 Springbrook Road, Springbrook Qld 4213
Hours: Spring/Summer 7.30pm Autumn/Winter 7pm, phone for appointment.
Cost: $15 adults $8 children
Contact: Andre Clayden (07) 5533 5055 or 0400 789 451
Web: http://www.springbrookobservatory.com.au

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The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium

This world class planetarium is located in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-tha, at Toowong in Brisbane. Programs are presented in the Cosmic Skydome which has an artificial sky projected onto the interior of a 12.5m dome. The Planetarium has been upgraded and is equipped with both the traditional Zeiss Spacemaster projector and new digital planetarium systems installed in 2004 and 2007. All shows include a current night sky tour recreated in the Skydome. The display areas contain recently-updated astronomical and space items, short videos and space news updates run in two small theatres, and the shop has astronomical and educational products. The Planetarium observatory has a variety of telescopes and sessions must be pre-booked. School shows are also available during weekdays.

Address: Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha, Mt Coot-tha Rd, Toowong Qld 4066
Hours: Tuesday – Friday: school shows and one afternoon public show. Saturday/Sunday: multiple public shows and children’s shows. School shows are on a booking basis only. Additional weekday shows run during Queensland school holidays.
Cost: Show charges apply
Contact: (07) 3403 2578
Web: http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/planetarium/

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Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary and Resort

Located in the heart of the northern Flinders Ranges, Arkaroola have a total of eleven Advanced Ecotourism accredited products including ridgetop, astronomy and waterhole tours. There are also many guided and unguided bushwalks. They have three astronomical observatories offering two Celestron 360mm and three Meade Maksutov-Cassegrain computer assisted telescopes. There are also three ‘star chairs’ with 20×80 astro binoculars, spare piers and wedges suitable for BYO telescopes and astrophotography/CCD equipment.

Address: Private Bag 106, Port Augusta SA 5710
Hours: Tours run nightly on demand and weather permitting.
Cost: Cost is $40 (up to 1.5 hours per tour)
Contact: (08) 8648 4848 fax (08) 8648 4846
Web: http://www.arkaroola.com.au

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The Heights Observatory

The Heights School Observatory is located at the Heights School, Modbury, Adelaide. It was formed primarily for students of the school with an interest in astronomy, but anyone is encouraged to join. There are two main telescopes and a classroom. During the day solar observations are made.

Address: Brunel Drive, Modbury Heights
Hours: Evening
Cost: Minimal
Contact: Andrew Cool
Web: http://www.assa.org.au/facilities/theheights/

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Stockport Observatory

Owned and operated by the Astronomical Society of South Australia (ASSA), the observatory is located in the small town of Stockport (6km north-east of Hamley Bridge) approximately 80km north of Adelaide. It provides a convenient astronomical facility away from the light pollution which surrounds Adelaide. Public star parties are held at Stockport in February, May, August and November. See web site for details.

Address: Observatory Road, Stockport SA 5410
Hours: Public star parties 8pm to 11pm. Private bookings for groups & schools also available.
Cost: $7 per person.
Contact: ASSA Info Line (08) 8338 1231
Web: http://www.assa.org.au/facilities/stockport/

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University of South Australia Planetarium

The planetarium has sessions for primary/secondary schools as well as the general public. Sessions are by appointment only. An open to the public session is available on the first Saturday of the month at 2:45pm.

Address: University of South Australia, Building P, Mawson Lakes Campus
Cost: $5 adults, $3.50 students and concession
Contact: (08) 8302 3138
Web: http://www.unisa.edu.au/planetarium/

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Woomera Observatory

The Woomera Observatory is a Woomera Board owned and operated facility. The main viewing telescope is a Celestron 14″ f10 SCT CGE pier mounted in a 3.5m Sirius Dome. A large selection of eyepieces, focal reducers and T-adaptors are available to suit Nikon and Cannon. Their secondary telescope is a tripod mounted Meade 10″ f8 SCT. The main building also has a theatrette with video projector and DVD player. Kitchen and toilet facilities are available.

Address: Cariwan St, or PO Box 191, Woomera SA 5720
Hours: Viewings on Tuesdays and Thursdays, weather permitting. Bookings essential for Saturday nights or group bookings. Please contact the Woomera Board Community Centre for more information.
Cost: Family $20, Adult $10, seniors/student/group $6 per head for a three hour viewing and presentation.
Contact: Bookings can be made through the Woomera Board Office (08) 8674 3226.
Web: http://www.woomeraboard.com.au

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Launceston Planetarium

The Planetarium, after being closed temporarily in 2008, will reopen at the Queen Victoria Museum’s Inveresk site, in Invermay Rd, in October 2009.

Address: Queen Victoria Museum, Invermay Road Launceston Tas 7250
Hours: See web site for costs and times.
Contact: (03) 6323 3777
Web: http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au/planetarium.html

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AstroTours

The Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University of Technology is offering public 3D tours through the Universe in the Virtual Reality theatre during school holidays. AstroTour sessions can also be booked for school groups (Years 3-12) throughout the year.

Address: The Virtual Reality theatre is located on the ground floor of the AR building in room AR104, Hawthorn campus, Swinburne Univeristy of Technology.
Cost: $10.00 (school holiday shows) $7.00 (primary school groups) $8.50 (secondary school groups)
Contact: Dr Christopher Fluke (03) 9214 5828 (school group enquiries) Carolyn Cliff (03) 9214 5569 (bookings).
Web: http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/astrotour/

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Ballarat Municipal Observatory

The observatory has several historic telescopes including The Jelbart (a 125mm refractor), the Oddie (a 220 mm Newtonian), the Baker Great Equatorial Telescope (a 650mm Newtonian, commissioned in 1886) and a 300mm Newtonian. The Adcock-Federation telescope (406mm Cassegrain-Springfield) has disabled-access. They are open every Friday and Saturday evening, some nights during school holidays) other times bookings are required. There are regular events at other times, updates on website. Astrotour 3D Movies are available in conjunction with Swinburne University of Technology.

Address: Cnr of Magpie and Cobden Street, Mount Pleasant, Ballarat East
PO Box 284 Ballarat 3353
Hours: Friday and Saturday evenings, half an hour before sunset; every night during school holidays.
Cost: Various, see web site
Contact: (03) 5332 7526
Web: http://observatory.ballarat.net

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Melbourne Planetarium

This is Australia’s first digital planetarium and is at Scienceworks in Spotswood. The theatre seats 160 and produces shows for all ages. The planetarium is open seven days a week from 10am and runs special evening sessions in March and August.

Address: 2 Booker St, Spotswood Vic 3015
Hours: See web site for costs and times.
Contact: (03) 9392 4800
Web: http://museumvictoria.com.au/planetarium/

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Old Melbourne Observatory

The historic Old Melbourne Observatory is located in the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. There are a variety of programs run during the year. Bookings are essential, see web site for details. The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne has a visitor centre, function rooms, Observatory Café, Terrace Tearooms and a Gardens Shop.

Address: Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra Vic 3141
Cost: Contact for details.
Contact: Visitor Centre, Royal Botanic Gardens (03) 9252 2429
Web: http://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/rbg_melbourne/visitorinfo/whats_on

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Gingin Observatory – The Space Place!

The observatory is situated in the Shire of Gingin, an hour north of Perth. Their main instrument is the 25 inch Brodie-Hall telescope. They have five other telescopes ranging from 11″ to 16″ as well as six pairs of binoculars. Also available for use are the amazing Sky Scouts from Celestron. They specialise in school programs and community groups.

Hours: See web site for costs and times.
Web: http://www.ginginobservatory.com

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Perth Observatory

Situated in the Darling Ranges, 40km inland from the West Coast, Perth Observatory conducts international standard astronomical research and wide ranging educational outreach activities.
Star Viewing Nights are conducted as part of the observatory’s public education program, using a dedicated facility with several large telescopes, including the largest in regular public use in the Southern Hemisphere. The observatory also has transportable telescopes to conduct Astronomy Field Nights at remote sites.
Guided tours in the day time are also conducted and can include viewing of historical astronomical artefacts in our museum, a demonstration of the operation of old and new research telescopes, a safe view of the Sun with a dedicated solar telescope, and a general or specific astronomy computer presentation.

Address: 337 Walnut Rd, Bickley WA 6076
Hours: Normal office hours: 8:00am – 3:30pm.
Star Viewing Nights: October to May – bookings essential, session lasts approximately 1.5 hours.
Daytime Guided Tours: 10am and 12:30pm – bookings essential, session lasts approximately 1.5 hours.
Cost: All services attract charges, contact the observatory for details.
Contact: (08) 9293 8255 fax (08) 9293 8138 info Line (08) 9293 8109
Web: http://www.perthobservatory.wa.gov.au

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Pingelly Heights Observatory (Astro Ventures)

This facility specialises in the presentation of astronomical information and the viewing of the night sky through their telescopes. The observatory is one and a half hours drive from Perth. The observatory is also the home of Fair Dinkum Skies, Robotic Telescope Facility, in affiliation with New Mexico Skies Observatories in the USA. The property is Sunarise, 25 Pingelly Heights Rd (off Aldersyde Road), Pingelly. Astro Ventures caters for schools, various community organisations and private parties on request.

Address: PO Box 512, Pingelly WA 6308
Hours: Summer: 7:30pm to 10:30pm (WST) on Saturdays only (other nights by appointment). They are closed from May 1 to September 30.
Cost: Adults $27, school-aged students (1-12) $15, pensioner/concessions $18, family (2+2) $70, school groups (max 15) $12.50 per student, adult groups (12-15) $22 per person. As activities are unsuitable for children under 5, they are admitted free.
Contact: For further information and reservations ring Susie or Trevor on (08) 9887 0088, 0407 380 922 or write to Astro Ventures.
Web: http://myweb.westnet.com.au/astroventures

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