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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

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Friday 25th May 2018 - Dr Patricia Vickers-Rich - Dinosaurs

8pm on Friday 25th May 2018 we have a rare non-astronomy talk for our members night, but instead of looking back in time by looking up at the sky we'll be looking back in time by looking under the ground.

Ever wonder what the world was like about 600 million years ago or even 100 million? Well come to the observatory this Friday, get in the call with Dr Patricia Vickers-Rich (sorry, Dr Who was not available that evening!) and we’ll dial up the right time and off we go! Pat's talk will cover two areas which she has an interest in; dinosaurs and their associates which inhabited what is now southern Victoria some 106 to 130 million years ago. This has been a project that she and her husband have been pursuing for more than 40 years. We will also be taken further back to a time called the Precambrian more than 542 million years ago when the first animals appeared.
 
Pat holds a PhD degree from Columbia University gained at a time in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when a major paradigm shift was taking place in geology. There was a change from viewing continents as always where they are today, to thinking about how they moved about in the past. Plate tectonic theory gave this a mechanism that explained how this could have happened. What a wonderful time to be a graduate student based at one of the three institutions that were at the forefront of this new idea. She came to Australia soon after she finished her degree and has taught at Monash University and now at Swinburne in Palaeobiology ever since.

Members' Night is on every Friday night commencing at 8PM sharp (doors open 7:30PM). Guests of members are always welcome. Contributions of food to share for supper are always gratefully received and demolished! :-)


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 up-to-date information.

For weather information please see our useful links.

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Sunday 10th June 2018 - Radio Astronomy Group Meeting

Hi MBO folks interested in radio astronomy!

NEXT MEETING: 10am 10th June at MBO.

The MBO Radio Astronomy Group (RAG) met on Sunday 13th May and worked  on trying to understand more about the 21cm receiver equipment we have and how exactly it works, and also to work on the radio jove project.

With the 21cm equipment we looked at the circuit diagrams and how the output from the receiver we have been using appears to come out before the interferometer stage.  The exact functioning of the interferometer stage itself is unclear, it does not appear to be tunable and so how it adapts to the red-shift of galactic sources is unclear. It has two outputs, a signal level and a phase angle.

With the radio jove project we now have two separate Jupiter emission software packages, one being the software for Windows that the Radio Jove people at NASA recommend and a more useful cross-platform script written in Python which, after reporting a bug with, produces results which correlate with the Windows package.

We also now have a better understanding of the emissions from Jupiter itself, there are at least 7 different types and it is one particular type associated with the moon Io which has the strongest signal.  The
condition of the Earths atmosphere also plays a large part in how easy it is to receive these signals.

It is also apparent that we need to do continuous monitoring of these signals to have a chance to detecting them, it is not enough to just turn it on and listen "just in case".  So we will need to acquire a USB audio interface for the Raspberry Pi 3 to fulfill this function.

Finally we have a new project to work on, we want to build and install magnetometers at MBO!  This is to monitor changes to the Earths magnetic field in response to geomagnetic storms.  It should also detect cars arriving and leaving, but they will have a very different type of signal.

Look forward to seeing people at the next meeting on 10th June!

All the best,
Chris

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Wednesday 23rd May 2018 - World Record Stargazing at Emerald Secondary College

In August 2015 MBO participated in the successful World Record Stargazing event held at Emerald Secondary College, and just under 3 years later we're doing it again!

Join Mount Burnett Observatory at the Emerald Secondary College for an evening of fun and excitement as we try to break a Guinness World Record! This free community event will include a live screening of Stargazing Live with Brian Cox. A gold coin donation will be requested on entry to help the local community groups putting on this event.

You can find all the information about the event and register to attend at Eventbrite.

Hope to see you there!

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Deep Sky Observing for 2018

The Deep-Sky Programme is a special night of astronomical observing for anybody interested in our brilliant Cosmos. We encourage anyone and everyone to visit the observatory on a Saturday evening with us to experience the wonders of the universe through the eyes of a telescope. Astronomical objects such as distant galaxies, gargantuan globular clusters and exquisite nebulae are just a few items on our special lists. Session times are dynamic due to the universal position of the earth about our sun. Attendees are more than welcome to bring along a telescope of their own or use the Dobsonian telescopes Mount Burnett Observatory has to offer.

On every Deep-Sky night, the usual suspects unearth the great Borg Dobsonian telescope for everyone to conduct extraordinary viewing. Observing commences as soon as the night turns dark, allowing distant, faint objects to become accessible.

Complementary to the Deep-Sky Programme, we run Astrophotography sessions for those who want to capture an image of the objects they see. Perhaps objects such as the Great Orion Nebula, Omega Centauri, and the Sombrero Galaxy are inspirational selections for a new mantelpiece substitute. Astrophotography operates at different levels based upon requisite technologies and experience. However, do not be discouraged as even a mobile phone can capture the stunning essence of the Moon through a telescope.

Neil Creek, our maestro of Astrophotography, will be more than happy to provide examples or assistance with photographing the Cosmos. Neil can provide supplementary information on available equipment and software to enrich your photographic endeavours.

All dates scheduled are advertised on the official Mount Burnett Observatory website and the weekly e-mail.

If you would like more information, please e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Finally, inclement weather conditions may come unexpectedly around the time of a scheduled night. The Deep-Sky team will distribute an e-mail close to the date for information on the programme concerning the conditions of the weather and the time of commencement.

Lachlan Wiltshire and I look forward to seeing you join in on the grand experience with the Deep-Sky crew.

Remaining Dates (as advised so far):

  • Saturday 9th June

Important: We ask kindly that only red light is used whilst on the observing field and that vehicles are parked along the fence in the driveway,  facing north towards the exit.

Thank you all sincerely,
Braeden Borg
Deep-Sky Coordinator


Please note: MBO will always be closed on days of Severe, Extreme and Code Red fire ratings, please see the CFA website for up-to-date information.

For weather information please see our useful links.

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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 2017; due to high demand these are now booked via TryBooking so please click on the link below to book a place!

UPDATE: Thursday 3rd May public viewing has been canceled due to poor weather forecast.

 

An Evening Under the Stars

UPDATE: Thursday 3rd May public viewing has been canceled due to poor weather forecast.

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.

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Welcome

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.

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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.