Saturday 21st January 2017 will be our 6th annual open day and our 5th birthday party, starting at 12 noon and running through to 5pm for general public. You can find us at
Come and check out MBO in the daytime! Astrophotography stall, swap meet, telescope clinic, kids activities! Entry is free - though any donations would be most welcome! :-)
While you are there, enter our raffle for some great prizes like this Saturn V rocket model.
At 7:30pm we reopen to members & their guests for a special members night!
Come along for a BBQ and a surprise screening of a special astronomical featurette that stars one of our radio astronomy group’s prize possessions… the Murchison Widefield Array. That and a mystery talk as well. What more can you want? I am glad you asked… because for all members who have rejoined since July 1st 2016 we have a wonderful 2017 astronomical calendar to give away. You must pick it up from the Observatory though! The calendars are courtesy of our partners in astronomy CAASTRO, the Australian Research Council Centre for Excellence in All Sky Astrophysics.
Please note: for your safety MBO will be closed & the open day cancelled if the day is forecast to be a day of Severe, Extreme and Code Red fire danger or a Total Fire Ban, please see the CFA website for that information.
Radio Jove - Sunday January 15th - 11am
The next RAG meeting will be at 11am on Sunday January 15th (alongside the regular MBO working bee) to work on the Radio Jove equipment. I will be away in NSW but Ray has kindly agreed to run the session.
Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) Tile - Friday January 20th - 8pm
There will also be a RAG meeting starting 8pm sharp on Friday 20th January to prep the Murchison Widefield Array tile that we have ready for the MBO Open Day on Saturday 21st.
Because we will have limited daylight we will need to make best use of that time so we will get cracking on the construction & checkout & dismantling and chat inside the cabin about how it works once it's packed away again.
MBO has an extensive library which is available to members and one member, Martin Mebalds, has kindly taken the time to review a title that he has been reading.
The Georgian Star by Michael D. Lemonick - review by Martin Mebalds - shelved under Astronomy History
This book is not about the discovery of Uranus by William Herschel, although the book does cover the discovery. It’s not about Caroline Herschel, William’s sister who surpassed Charles Messier by many thousands in discovering and cataloguing nebulae, although that is also covered.
The book is about the beginnings of modern techniques in the study of astronomy. While cataloguing stars sand double stars, it’s about a musician who turned to astronomy in his thirties, and though untrained in astronomy, with original thinking made his mark. He not only swept the skies cataloguing stars with his own telescopes, he built them and they were the best made anywhere at the time. The story is also about team work and women in science at the time, how they were treated and how Caroline defied the odds and made her own significant contributions to astronomy. She was the one that documented all William’s 8,760 observations and calculated all of their coordinates. This was the start of the star catalogues astronomers rely on today.
The book is also about the progress of science in general, the progress in thinking and the many stumbles along the way. For example, William Herschel believed that most planets and the moon were inhabited because ‘why would god go to all that trouble if it weren’t populated?’
This book is a treat to read, it’s full of surprises and insights about the progress of science and the early beginnings of cosmology. I have only given a small sample of the discoveries made by these two wonderful 18th century astronomers. Less than 200 pages, it is suitable for any astronomy enthusiast from teens to nonagenarians and beyond!
The exhibition Seeing Stars: Astrophotography from the Dandenong Ranges is now being presented in the Chambers Gallery of the Yarra Ranges Regional Museum from 29 October 2016 – 29 January 2017. The exhibition coincides with another exhibition on display at the Museum at the same time called Science on the Move from Questacon in Canberra.
The Yarra Ranges Regional Museum is at 35-37 Castella St, Lilydale, and is open 7 days a week from 10am through to 4pm and entry is free.
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.
SO WHAT DO WE WANT TO DO?
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.
A NEW DOME?
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.
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!
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 $5 per child (12 years and under). All money raised goes towards maintenance and preservation of the Observatory.
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, 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.