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Friday 21st August 2015 - World Record Stargazing at Emerald Secondary College

We are taking part in a world record stargazing attempt this coming Friday the 21st of August by running a participating event at Emerald Secondary College (in place of our regular members night).

Here is all you need to know to participate!

Pre-Registration (required to be counted as a stargazer)

To help with counting (and to ensure you will count) you need to register beforehand via Eventbrite. The event is free!

Registration link: http://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/world-record-stargazing-at-emerald-secondary-college-tickets-18162142457

Arriving (before 7:30pm)

Please park in the ESC Carpark and meet for the viewing in front of the EPAC (Emerald Performing Arts Centre) building.

Guest Speaker (7:30pm-8:15pm)

To get proceedings underway we will be having Associate Professor Virginia Kilborn from Swinburne University to talk to us in EPAC from 7:30pm through to 8:15pm.

World Record Stargazing Signing-in and Setup (8:15pm to 8:30pm)

You will be guided from EPAC to the viewing area by stewards.

Please be there by 8:15 pm to sign in (and pick up telescopes if required).

World Record Stargazing Time (8:30pm-8:40pm)

  • Everyone must have their own instrument.  It can be either a telescope or binoculars.  There is no restriction on size or ownership (i.e. you can borrow one). We do have a limited number of free small souvenir telescopes for those that register first.

  • Everyone must be observing simultaneous for a minimum of 10 minutes. Please note this does not mean looking through a telescope the whole time but looking towards the sky.We will accordingly plan on the official time from 8:30 pm - 8:40 pm AEST

  • A loud start and finish signal recognised by all participants will be used. Two experienced timekeepers will time the attempt with stopwatches accurate to 0.01 seconds.

Site Requirements

  • We must have a minimum of 25 participants.  Sites with people less than that will not be counted. In the event of a huge turnout people will be allocated to groups of 50.
  • The event must take place in public places or in venues open to public inspection and take place in restricted areas with entrances and exits clearly marked and controlled.

Attendance and Documentation

  • Specific measures will be in place to ensure participants are not counted twice.

  • For every 50 participants there must be one designated steward (i.e. person counting)

  • Stewards must not come from MBO or Emerald Secondary College. Parents are acceptable (just not teachers or other officials).

If you have any further questions please e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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5pm Saturday 22nd August 2015 - Astronomy and Light Festival 2015 (Scienceworks)

aliv2015 banner with logos of MBO, Telescopes in Schools, CAASTRO and National Science Week

On Saturday the 22nd of August from 5pm Mount Burnett Observatory will be jointly hosting the 2015 Astronomy and Light Festival at Scienceworks! The event is going to be great fun with a range of activities:

  • viewing through telescopes

  • planetarium shows

  • lightning shows

  • laser maze

  • astronomy and light based activities for children

  • talks and expert panels comprised of experts from around Australia

  • displays from astronomy groups and research teams across Victoria

For more details see the ALIV2015 festival website: https://aliv2015.wordpress.com/

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Tuesday 14th July 2015 - New Horizons Flyby of Pluto

NASA New Horizons Pluto logoSpace missions that promise to so dramatically change our understanding of an entire part of the solar system do not happen every day… or even every decade! NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto and beyond promises so much and the closest approach to Pluto will be 9:49pm Tuesday MBO time.

MBO will be opening for the flyby itself on Tuesday 14th July. Doors open from 8pm with organised events starting at 9pm. With light travel time we won’t be getting live signals from Pluto but NASA TV will be streaming their coverage of the event from 9:30pm. If the weather is kind we will even try to find Pluto with our own telescopes as it will be conveniently high in our sky in Sagittarius.

Please consider the neighbours and the observers by driving 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.

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Saturday 27th June 2015 (7pm) - MBO Fund Raising Quiz - CANCELLED

Sadly we've had to cancel the quiz this weekend, apologies for the late notice.  We'll try again later in the year.

MBO are raising funds for our next project which is the revamp/replacement of the "chook shed" and its 10" telescope. Our aim is to redevelop it to make the telescope housed there more accessible to people with limited mobility and to install a new GoTo telescope.

In support of this work we advertise our first quiz night which is taking place at 7pm on Saturday the 27th of June. Tickets can either be purchased on Friday night or via EventBrite at https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/quiz-night-tickets-17282970831. Members and guests are welcome. Tickets are $12 per head. The venue will be Upwey Primary if numbers are large and Mount Burnett Observatory otherwise.

It doesn't matter if your knowledge of astronomy is astronomical or not, this is a fun event. There will be ten rounds of questions with ten questions in each round. Topics such as movies, music, history and literature as well as astronomy will be covered.

Make a team of eight people, or simply buy a single ticket and we can organise a table for you. There will be a prize for each member of the winning table.

BYO nibbles and drinks please!