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Friday 3rd April 2015 - Sky For The Month with Perry Vlahos

8pm Friday Perry Vlahos will be presenting his regular summary of what will be going on in the April sky!

Following the talk and supper, there will be viewing through the MBO telescopes (weather permitting). If you have a telescope and would like to know how to use it, or alternatively, would like to show it off to us, please bring it along.

Members' Night is on every Friday night commencing at 8PM (doors open 7:30PM). Guests are always welcome.

Please consider the neighbours and drive 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.

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Presidents Message: Light Pollution

Dear friends of Mount Burnett,
 
I would like to talk a little this week about dark skies. 2015 is the International Year of Light and some of the themed activities later in the year will centre on the importance of keeping our night skies dark. Not only do we get better views of the stars but there is evidence to suggest it is good for our health. Our very own Perry Vlahos is representing us on a dark skies association formed this year by members of astronomy associations across the state.  If you have questions on the topic please email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or find him after his “Sky for the Month” talk.
 
Some of my family require total dark before they can get to sleep and so having a street light shining in the bedroom window can be more than an annoyance. This promoted me a few years ago to take action. I thought I would jot it down in case some of you were wondering what is possible.
 
The street lights in my area are run by the local council. I rang them up and was informed that for a small fee ($100 per street light at the time) I could have them modified to reduce stray light. Sometimes these modifications take the form of baffles or hoods. In my case the light fittings were sprayed with black paint. This worked a treat. My family could sleep, and I could sit on the back deck with my telescope and enjoy the stars. That is until a few months ago when all the lights in my neighbourhood were replaced with very bright new LED lights… without baffles. So once more I phoned council who have agreed to fit new baffles. It has required gentle persistence as the contractor involved doesn’t appear to be as enlightened or should I say endarkened as the council paying their bills. But I am confident it will get sorted.
 
My message to you is this. If you have an issue with stray lights from public lighting, phone the council first. If you have no success or simply want to share your own story then drop me a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We can try and put you in touch with the right people and would also like to gather a few interested individuals so we can be more proactive in this area.
 
thats all for now
 
yours in the absence of stray light
 
James

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Wednesday 8th April 2015 - Public View Night - FULLY BOOKED!

Due to popular demand we are happy to announce our next Public Viewing Night - Wednesday April 8th!

If you missed the last one, or have been wondering what this Mount Burnett place is all about, this is for you. Come and join us!

Public Viewing sessions are there to give people a taste of what we do at Mt. Burnett. You will hear a bit about the history of the observatory, then go into the dome with the big telescope (and you might even get to take a cool photo). Then you will have some hands on experience with our portable Dobsonians.

The date falls just after Easter in the school holidays (so no worrying about it being a school night). The cost is $10 per adult and $5 per child, with all money going to keeping the Observatory running.

Yes Astrofans, once again you have booked out our Public Viewing session. Don't be too sad though - there will be more. We are happy to take names for our waiting list and you will have first notification at the next viewing. (Contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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.

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Radio Astronomy Group - call for expressions of interest from members!

For a while a few of us have been talking about how we could return radio astronomy to MBO after its brief debut under Monash to record the impact of comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 into Jupiter in July 1994. Coincidentally, those of you who were at the MBO Open Day will know, we've been gifted a prototype "tile" of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio telescope via the good offices of CAASTRO and Curtin University in WA which has the possibility of being returned to a functioning state.

MWA

So I'd like to hear from MBO members who are interested in working on this and other radio astronomy projects through a Radio Astronomy Group at MBO!

The idea is to be pretty ad-hoc whilst we work out what we have (and don't have) as part of the MWA tile and gather information on how it is meant to function.
 
If you are interested please email me, Chris Samuel, at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Photo round up of MBO Open Day 2015

On Saturday 24th January 2015 it was a pleasure to welcome new members and old to Mount Burnett for our third birthday party and annual open day. There was a huge turnout of over 170 visitors with over 40 joined on the spot. Even the weather was kind and the viewing that night was fantastic.

We would like to thank all those members who worked so hard on the day. It was hard work but everybody enjoyed themselves. Sue, Heike, Ken, Barry, Angela, Chris S, Glen, Bob, Perry, Dianne, Braeden, Lachlan and dad, Jeff, Rhys, Stephanie and David, and everybody who shared their telescopes and time in the evening. Thank you!

Here is a roundup of photographs from the day and there are more on our Facebook photo page!

 MWA radio telescope tile demonstration Peter starry shirt Evening observing

Kids inside cabin Binocular winner

BBQ Perrys talk

Wooden telescope Early viewing with dobs

 

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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.

Sun, Moon and Planets

Moon Phase

CURRENT MOON

Melbourne Weather

Fair

21°C

Melbourne

Fair
Humidity: 53%
Wind: E at 8.05 km/h
Wednesday 14°C / 30°C Partly cloudy
Thursday 11°C / 18°C AM showers
Friday 9°C / 21°C Partly cloudy