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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.


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 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!


Saturday 4th April 2015: Lunar Eclipse

This Saturday will be the last in a series of three lunar eclipses visible from Australia in 2014/15 and so Mount Burnett Observatory will be open for the night (weather permitting).  Totality is only around 5 minutes starting at 10:58pm, but there's over an hour of partial eclipse from 9:16pm onwards.

Our Deep Sky Observer Braeden Borg will be keeping closer to Earth than usual to lead this session and the Mount Burnett Observatory will be open from 7:30pm onwards.

The BoM is forecast is promising so keep your eye on their Melbourne forecast and also Skippy Sky (click the Melbourne link at the top to see a closer view)!

This is the last total lunar eclipse visible from Melbourne until early 2018 so don't miss it!


Friday 13th March 2015 - "Stars and Symbols" at Yarra Ranges Regional Museum

MBO is on the road so join us at Yarra Ranges Regional Museum for a night of stargazing on Friday 13th March from 5pm to 9pm!

Image of a hand stencil formed by blowing paint around it by Nawakadj Nganjmirra

We have been kindly invited to run an evening session called "Stars and Symbols" in conjunction with YRRM with astronomy displays and telescopes to guide you through the night sky using the museums indoor and outdoor spaces, showing you the wonders of the universe. Outdoor stargazing is, as always, weather permitting.

You can also enjoy free access to the YRRM exhibition "Myths and Legends of West Arnhem Land", where kids can complete a scavenger hunt to learn about the significant symbols in these drawings from the Northern Territory.

Hot food, cakes, coffee and sandwiches will be available for purchase at the Museum Harvest Cafe.

Dates: Fri 13 March 5pm-9pm
Venue: Yarra Ranges Regional Museum
Address: 35-37 Castella St Lilydale
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Suitable for: Young adults  Children  Families  Adults  
Cost: FREE