Port Macquarie Observatory
To Infinity and Beyond
Was the moon landing a fake? Is the Earth flat? Will Earth be sucked into a black hole? Is Pluto a planet?
If you have ever pondered these questions, you need to visit the Port Macquarie Observatory, where informed members of the Port Macquarie Astronomical Association can set you straight.
The Association is a not for profit organisation that shares a love of the stars with the general public. The observatory is open every Sunday and Wednesday night for star-gazing talks and viewings, as well as whenever there is a ‘significant astronomical occurrence’…sounds exciting!
“This year has been astronomically exciting,” says Observatory member, Alice. “As well as viewing the lunar eclipse of a super-moon, we hosted a night for the ABC series Star Gazing, with local ABC presenters. We also viewed a spectacular planet alignment, which is rare.”
The popular ABC program Star Gazing harnesses the many telescopes of amateur astronomers all around the country, one of whom found a new star, then made his own star appearance on Star Gazing! Have you ever dreamed of naming rights on your own star? Now is your chance to start looking!
Port Macquarie Observatory was opened in 1962, as a joint project between Rotary and the Council, initiated and championed by a local enthusiast, Albert York. Mr York presided over the Association until his death in 1984, at the age of 94.
Images courtesy of Dustin Bradford
Originally the Observatory used a 5-inch telescope that had been donated to the town by a local publican, to be used to watch ships at sea. The observatory has modernised significantly since then. It now houses a 14-inch telescope and there are plans underway to replace this with even more modern computer-controlled technology. The presentation format has already modernised, offering state of the art audio-visual presentations.
Port Macquarie Observatory accepts group bookings as well as interested individuals. Their prices are down-to-Earth with admission for adults $10, concessions $8, children under 18 $5, families (2 adults and 2 children) $25 and children under 5 years free.
Contact the Port Macquarie Astronomical Association at https://www.pmobs.org.au/