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Mount Burnett Observatory

A community astronomical observatory in the Dandenong Ranges

  • Dome and scope
    Dome and 18" Telescope
  • Dome at night
    Dome at Night
  • Dome and LMC
    Dome at Night with LMC
  • Prep for AGM
    Dome and 10" Telescope
  • Prof S Maddison 2014
    Prof. Sarah Maddison (Swinburne)
  • Ronald Fritz dome and sky
    Dome and Milky Way by Ronald Fritz
  • mbo open day 1
    MBO Open Day 2014
  • 2014 BBQ
    Open Day BBQ 2014
  • BBQ
    Open Day BBQ 2015
  • MWA at Scienceworks
    MWA tile at Scienceworks
  • MWA press Scienceworks
    Press meets MWA tile
  • MWA Classic FM Scienceworks
    MWA tile plays ABC Classic FM



Book review: "Cosmic Symmetry Shattered" by Michael D. Lemonick

MBO has an extensive library which is available to members and one member, Martin Mebalds, has kindly taken the time to review another title that he has been reading.

Cosmic symmetry shattered by Nicholas Mee - review by Martin Mebalds - shelved under Cosmology

The Higgs particle is the last particle predicted by the Standard Model of subatomic physics to be discovered in 2012 at the Large Hardon Collider.  The Higgs particle has been described as the "God particle" and as described by Mee; " is the subatomic particle that breaks the symmetry between the forces of nature and enables the universe to evolve into a complicated and interesting place."  So it is the basis for understanding the beginnings of the universe and of how the forces of nature and matter came to be and what made our our universe is possible.  Higgs Force is essential reading if you want to have a deeper understanding of cosmology, matter and the forces of nature.
Mee takes us on a journey through modern physics with the discovery of electricity the description of electromagnetic forces and beyond.

We are taken from the concept of the atom being the smallest unbreakable particle to Rutherford’s work on the structure of the nucleus when he discovered that atoms are made of electrons protons and neutrons. We are taken deeper into the structure of the atom and the forces that keep the nucleus together, the strong and weak force and of gluons. Beyond that there are even more complexities of neutrinos, mesons, muons, ups and downs, colours and colour forces.  Anyone would think that it would be too complicated to fully understand unless you had a PhD in physics.  However Mee gently takes you along the path of understanding and by the finish of the book, you have a much better appreciation of the importance of the discovery all the subatomic particles and forces leading to the Higgs particle.

The book is written in an easy style with a little mathematics along the way but not too much!  The book not only explains the theories of physics but the people and history behind its advancement.  This adds a great deal for the reader interested in the history of science.
I would recommend however that you approach the book ready to tackle a whole new range of concepts and assimilate a lot of new facts as it is necessary to understanding particle physics.  If you come to this book with some understanding of chemistry and physics at a high school level, it would be a help you in assimilating the concepts in this book.

Mee has done a wonderful job in guiding the reader through this area of science and in identifying the road ahead, explaining what mysteries remain to be solved.

If you are interested in what makes the universe tick, what forces are responsible for powering the stars and what happens inside atoms when they decay this book is for you.


Crowdfunding the new MBO Dome & Telescope

The Mount Burnett Observatory is fundraising for a new dome and telescope, and as part of that we are running a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe!  Please do try and help us out.


Mount Burnett Astronomical Society wants to install a Sirius 3.5 dome and telescope.

With the success of the observatory we are finding that our facilities are no longer capable of matching public demand. The original 18 inch telescope which was installed in the 1970’s was never designed for large numbers of the viewing public. It is accessed by a narrow, steep stair which restricts people with mobility issues. There is no wheelchair access. The telescope itself was not designed to be used as a viewing telescope, and to actually look through the lens can involve perching precariously at the top of a ladder. Use of the telescope is limited by the nature of the design of the scope and a lack of computerisation. A new Go-To telescope will allow the citizen scientists of Mount Burnett and our partner schools to once more do research on the mountain.


The Sirius 3.5 dome is a ground-floor-access, computerised dome that would improve our ability to meet public demand, provide greater accessibility and develop our astrophotography capability. The Go-To telescope will be suitable for advanced viewing projects.


Public Viewings at MBO

Hey Astrofans!

Are you looking for an Astronomy Fix, or perhaps an idea for a special present for someone astro-minded? Look no further!

We have the following upcoming public viewings scheduled for 2016; due to high demand these are now booked via Eventbrite so please click on the link to book a place!

An Autumn Evening under the stars (click the link and choose a date)

Public Viewings are designed for members of the Public who would like to visit the Observatory to see what we do, who we are, and, with the help of our friendly Outreach team, do some viewing of the night sky through our telescopes.

Public Viewings cost $15 per adult, $10 concession and child over 5 (children under 5 free). All money raised goes towards maintenance and preservation of the Observatory.

Please note, if the weather is not good, if the fire danger forecast is severe or above, or a Total Fire Ban is declared, the sessions will be cancelled and you will be able to rebook for a later date. If you have any further questions, just ask by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

Please consider the neighbours and drive in and out quietly using low beam only, or better still, parking lights.

Please note: MBO will always be closed on days of Severe, Extreme and Code Red fire ratings, and on days of Total Fire Ban. Please see the CFA website for that information.

For weather information please see our useful links.



Welcome to Mount Burnett Observatory inc. We are an astronomical society based at Mount Burnett Observatory, in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne. The Observatory was originally built in 1972 by Monash University. In 2011 the site was formally taken over by our organisation and it now has a new life as a community observatory. Our aim is to preserve the facility and to use it to promote astronomy and science to the communities in the Dandenongs.

The Observatory for members and guests every Friday from 7:30pm. Our Young Observers group meet on Saturday evenings once a month.


Visiting the Observatory

Visitors are most welcome at MBO. Individuals and families wanting to look through our telescopes can join in one of our Public Viewing Nights. These run approximately once a month subject to the weather. They are very popular and must be pre-booked. To enquire about the next available date or to book please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone the Mount Burnett Observatory hotline on 0490 665 004.

Costs are:

Adults: $15

Concession and children over 5: $10

Children under 5: free

Mount Burnett also welcomes visits by schools, scouting and community groups. We have a program that can caters for all ages (from Joeys and primary school children to Venturers and VCE students). Sessions take advantage of our portable telescopes for an "eyes-on" view of the sky as well as a host of indoor activities. Programs are tailored to VELS and badges according to group.

The observatory is also available for private booking.

To enquire about a visit please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone the Mount Burnett Observatory hotline on 0490 665 004.