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Presidents Message: World Record Stargazing, Telescopes and Lanterns

Dear Mount Burnettisi,

What a busy week that was for Mount Burnett!  We had the good news that our friends at CAASTRO will be donating 100 replicas of Galileo’s telescope (small refractors worth ~$5 each)  for us to use in the World Record Stargazing attempt on August 21st. Young Observers if you want to take part then let me know so I can reserve one of the telescopes!

On Friday Jacinta from Telescopes in Schools visited Emerald Secondary College to set up a large Celestron GoTo telescope for the the school to use over the next few years. MBO will be providing expert guidance as the school begins its astronomical journey.

Finally on Saturday MBO outreach (including some new members) set up at the Belgrave lantern parade. We had ~250 visitors put their eyes to eyepieces which is our biggest single event yet (there are some photos on our Facebook page). As I chatted with visitors it was obvious how much higher our profile is now than last year. Many people had visited already with heir school or scout troop. I heard less of the “I had no idea there was an observatory here” and more of the “we had a wonderful time when we visited”. And to cap it all off we had the Moon, Jupiter and Venus doing their little dance in the western sky. To those of you who took part in our activities this week thank you and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

James

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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!

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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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Membership

We welcome new members to our association.  Membership helps keep the Mount Burnett Observatory running by contributing towards our lease, maintenance costs, infrastructure, electricity bills, etc.

Membership fees for 2015 calendar year are $50 for an adult, and $25 for a junior or spouse membership. Under 12s are free but must be accompanied by an adult at all events.  Benefits include members nights (every Friday night from 8pm at the telescope) and invitations to periodic events run by the Observatory.


 Like to join? It's easy!

  • Fill in the editable PDF Membership Application form and save to your desktop,
  • Do an online bank transfer to:
    • BSB: 633 000 (Bendigo Bank)
    • Account No: 143733558
  • Forward the Membership Application form with payment details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Post a hard copy with your signature to: MBO Membership Secretary, PO Box 718, Emerald, Vic 3782

OR:

  • you can print out the Membership Application form, complete it, scan and send with payment details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

OR:

  • Come along to a meeting, pick up a form, fill it out and pay the membership fee.

 If you are an existing member who is renewing, or if you wish to donate to MBO, you can:

  • Do an online bank transfer to:
    • BSB: 633 000 (Bendigo Bank)
    • Account No: 143733558
  • Forward your payment details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

OR

  • Come along to a meeting and pay the membership fee.

Please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information on joining, renewing or donating.

Our rules of association can be found here.

Members of the association are entitled to view Mount Burnett's financial statements. They are available on request (via email) to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Your group visiting the telescope

Mount Burnett welcomes visits by schools, scouting and community groups. We have a program that 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.

Even if the sky is cloudy our visitors go away with stars in their eyes!

The observatory is also available for individuals to book for a guided tour of the night sky.

To enquire about a visit please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone James Murray on 0409703929.

Sun, Moon and Planets

Moon Phase

CURRENT MOON

Melbourne Weather

Showers in the vicinity

11°C

Melbourne

Showers in the vicinity
Humidity: 71%
Wind: NNW at 25.75 km/h
Thursday 5°C / 12°C SP_WEATHER_AM_SHOWERS_WIND
Friday 6°C / 13°C Partly cloudy
Saturday 8°C / 13°C AM showers