Presidents Message: Large Dobsonian and "PV's Must Sees"

Dear friends of Mount Burnett,

I have two very exciting announcements. Firstly we are going ahead with the purchase of an 18 inch telescope. This will be available for use on Friday nights and during our outreach and public viewing sessions.  It will be a portable Dobsonian telescope so easy to set up and put away. It will be a natural complement for our existing 18 inch telescope.

But wait there is more! This week we are officially launching to the entire Observatory membership, the MBO viewing challenge of 100 objects. Compiled by our inaugural president Perry Vlahos this list will be known as  “PV’s must sees”. You will find later in the week an email containing the list and our welcome pack for 2015. Take some time to read it and think seriously about joining in the MBO viewing challenge. Many of us joined MBO as a first foray into astronomy. By taking part in the challenge you will take a huge step towards becoming a good observational astronomer. The list includes phenomena such as the recent lunar eclipse, a mentor shower and a moon rise, some of the brightest stars in the sky, lunar craters and maria, and clusters and even galaxies. You will need to master astronomy with naked eye, binoculars and telescope. You will also need to learn how to record an observation.

As the year progresses we will incorporate the viewing challenge into our meeting program. So join in and bring along your log book to Friday nights so we can catch up on how everybody is doing. Our young observers have already taken on the challenge with great enthusiasm. I am sure it will be a young observer who finishes the list first. But whether you do it quickly or slowly, take the time to enjoy the beauty of each and every one of the 100 objects.