This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


MBO Submits Names For IAU ExoWorlds Naming Competition

Last August as part of our National Science Week 2014 events we had flyers out to solicit names from the public to submit as part of the International Astronomical Union's "Name ExoWorlds" competition for the chance to be able to name a star and its orbiting exoplanets - we even made The Age!


 We got a number of submissions from then and over the last year and so last Thursday night I sat down and screened out any that wouldn't pass the IAU's rules (in our case the only ones were names that had already been used for main belt asteroids) before taking them to a public vote at MBO on Friday night.  The voting was done blind, which meant the members could only see the proposed names and the justification, and we ended up with two names as outright winners - which was handy as the system we had selected to name (xi Aquilae, magnitude 4.7) only has a star and one exoplanet. :-)

So I'm pleased to announce that our submissions that we have put in for xi Aquilae are:

Object Proposed Name Justification Submitter
Star xi Aquilae Ezu This star is named 'Ezu' (pronounced like 'a zoo') after Eduard Zuev (1934-2005) - an outstanding populariser of astronomy and amateur telescope making in the Irkutsk Region of Russia and the the founder of the Irkutsk Astronomical Club "Astroclub". Pavel Mironov
Exoplanet xi Aquilae b Heroicos "Heroicos" which means epic in Latin, is an apt name for an exoplanet almost 3 times the mass of our own largest planet, Jupiter, and orbits much closer to its star than our own planet Earth does taking less than half an Earth year to complete a single orbit! Elliot Perez

Now all that is left is for the voting to open - please watch the NameExoWorlds website for more information and if you like our suggestions please register there to vote for us!


MBO hosts AIPP Astrophotography Workshop

On Sunday 17th May MBO played host to the Victorian branch of Australian Institute of Professional Photographers event "Starry Starry Night (Shooting Stars) with Andrew Campbell".

"AIPP VIC: Starry Starry Night (Shooting Stars) with Andrew Campbell"

Here is the group photo that was posted to the AIPP VIC Facebook page:

AIPP Starry Starry night. Whoop Whoop!!! Having a ffffabulous time fabulous people "shooting stars" in the cold night time sky. — with Adrian Sozio, Andrew Campbell, Simon Walters, Craig Wetjen, Jade Wisely and Mandarine Montgomery at Mount Burnett Observatory.

With 30 people attending the event sold out and it seems people enjoyed it!

We are lucky enough to have been sent the below photographs taken by Ronald Fritz who was there for the night.

MBO with Milky way in background

 MBO dome with Mily Way in background

MBO dome with Milky Way in background

 MBO dome with star trails


Presidents Message: MBO and the community

Dear friends of Mount Burnett,

This week I would like to take you back to the inaugural meeting of our association. On the 11th of July 2011 Perry, Barry, Ray, Ken and myself met at Elevations in Emerald to form Mount Burnett Observatory. That was the easy part. More difficult was to decide on a statement of purpose for the association. After several coffees, and the odd hot chocolate here is what we came up with:

  1. To preserve the Mount Burnett Observatory for the benefit of the Society's members and the community.
  2. To educate the public in the science of Astronomy, disseminate astronomical knowledge, and encourage the observation of the Universe.
  3. To provide facilities to support members of the Society in the practice and study of Astronomy, including astronomical research.
  4. To collaborate actively with other institutions and groups, to the benefit of the Society's activities.
  5. To bring into closer association persons and institutions engaged inastronomy in order to cooperatively advance our knowledge.
  6. To pursue any other arrangements and activities conducive to the above purposes.

I think we have done pretty well on all those fronts! As we have discovered, particularly this year after being advertised in Cardinia Connect, there is an enormous demand for our services. Our Outreach group will be flat out this month with Public Viewings and sessions for schools, scout troops and guiding groups. Young Observers is going from strength to strength and Friday nights have never been more popular.

Mount Burnett Observatory now fills a very important role in the community as a focus for learning science. Prior to our formation nobody suspected there was a need for a body such as ours. Now nobody would dream of us not being here. On Friday I will be speaking to 150 children from Berwick Fields Primary School. I will be sure to tell them of the amazing things we have achieved together at MBO.

Yours in lithobraking,