View Full Version here: : Dark Sky near Sydney
Hello Astronomy of other emisfere!
I'm an italian amateur astronomy and I'm going to Sydney from 10 december and I want watch sud sky for first time. I'm watching light pollution map around Sydney and, as Roma, I'm thinking to go far away to find dark sky.
I find Anglo-Australian observatory in coonabebran. Do you know if is possible stay on square next telescopes to make photos with my telescope? Is there some dangerous animals as dingo or snake?
Or is there some other famous place for amateur astronomy near sydney?
Thank all, when you going to Italy, I invite to my little observatory :-) (www.saocenter.it)
Is there in sydney telescope for rent?
19-10-2010, 10:45 PM
Here is good: http://www.mudgeeobservatory.com.au/
about a 3.5 hour drive from Sydney
19-10-2010, 11:05 PM
:welcome: to IIS, mate!
Before I answer your question, I have to ask you a couple to give you the best situation.
How long will you be spending here in Sydney? From your date of arrival, the next new Moon will be in early January.
Will you have a car to get around with? If you want a really dark sky, like with Roma, you need to be more than 150km away before you really get minimal light pollution. Coonabarabran is about 450km from Sydney.
What type of telescope will you be bringing, or will you rely on something from here in Australia to use? How complex photography will you want to do?
Dangerous animals? Not really at night. Dingos don't come near people, and are very shy. Snakes, if you see them, will only be during the day. Mosquitoes are them main proble. Some can be the size of pipistrellos, ;) .
You might want to contact some of the astronomy clubs listed here under New South Wales. These people might be your best help:
19-10-2010, 11:16 PM
Welcome to IIS.
Mudgee Observatory is a good spot ... it's operated by a fellow named John Vetter. Not sure if there's any overnight accommodation there, but there is a camping area.
The attached image shows the location of the Observatory. (At head of red arrow. The point of light a bit further to the right (east) is the small town of Mudgee ... in a wine-producing region.
I live near Mudgee ... it's a 40-minute drive from my place.
The AAO near Coonabarabran is closed at night (as you may suspect) but there's a camping area in the surrounding national park. Coonabarabran has plenty of motels, etc. and quite a few amateur and small commercial observatories. The town has a light-restriction policy due to the nearby (25km?) AAO, so it's not too hard to get spectacular skies here and most places outside small towns.
You won't have any problem with dingos (none in this area), snakes or spiders!
You didn't say how long you are staying in Australia, which would of course determine what you can achieve when here.
Unfortunately in Italy there isn't one place with a perfect dark sky and if I going to other side of the world, I want a perfect sky :)
It's a good place but I watched that there is Mudgee that has more than 8000 peolpe at only 5 km and on the map I can watch color map is gray and green and not black.
I will rent a car, hoping to haven't crash because you have right hand drive :eyepop:.
I think to bring 80ED refractor on eq3 mount with canon 350D with zeiss lens (25mm,35mm,85mm). I like long exposure wide field and I want to watch first time Magellans clouds.
I will arrive on 10 december and I think to observe from 11 to 13 when moon sets early. I will come back 3 jannuary when will be new moon but I can't spend lasts day of year observing.
I hate only poisonous animals, no problems for others.:D
In La Palma (Canary island) near observatory is closed but there are some squares when you can observe (don't using light). Cooberababran is perfect because is height and sky in more clear.
I will send an e-mail to ask if there is a pleace to observe.
You might want to consider driving to Coonabarabran and staying at somewhere
like the Warrumbungle Mountain Motel.
It is basic but only a few km from the observatory. It has large fields that are
convenient to set up a telescope and if you explain to the owners what you want
to do, they are very familiar with the needs of observers and should be able to
We use this site to host visiting amateurs from the northern hemisphere.
By far the biggest hazard with wildlife in this particular area is the risk of hitting
something like a kangaroo, emu or wombat. The risk is higher in the afternoon
and night time and you should avoid driving at night in these rural areas if
possible. When driving back from the motel into town in the evenings, be
very vigilant for wildlife and I highly recommend driving considerably slower than the
80 km/h signposted. Most people who work at the observatory have had an
accident with hitting a kangaroo along this stretch and some have totally destroyed
cars. At least one spouse of an observatory worker has been killed. Some of
our visitors have also damaged their rental cars by not being able to stop in time
when an animal suddenly comes onto the road.
Please also note that Australia is also undergoing a La Nina weather cycle
at the moment and that the predictions for the coming months are for unsettled
weather, including more rain and cloud than some other years. If it is cloudy
at Coonababran, recommend you be prepared to drive even further inland
if the weather map shows it to be clear and fine. Flexibility in your plans
in this regard will help maximize your chance of achieving some observing.
If you should decide to go to Coonababran, please drop me an email in advance and we
can line you up with some other amateurs who live in the area. Some also work
at the observatory and if their timing is convenient may be able to show you
around the AAT and other scopes.
Enjoy your trip!
Gary, thank you very mutch. I think amateur astronomy are a world comunity and is nice that we help together. If you come in Italy, I'm happy to observe with you but we haven't your dark sky.
I'm comfort that there isn't poisonous animals and I will be carefull for kangaroo but also in Italy there are dogs and boarb who cross montain street.
However I'm setting with my girlfriend to go to Coonabarabran from 11th to 14th december, first night at Warrumbungles Mountain Motel and after I hope to observe next observtory: I think is wanderful to observe with free horizont to see set of sun and moon and make wide field long exposure photo with dome.
Remember that on 13 december there will be Geminids meteor shower. Radiant is low in Australia (in Italy is nearly zenit) but in 2005 I saw over 300 meteors in only a night (I contributed at International Meteor Organizazion research) and they are good.
By the way, just I have definitive program, I send you a message. I'm very heppy to observe with you and your group and it can be an opportunity to meet and set next total solar eclipse of november 2012 in Queensland.
We will leave from Sydney by rent car.
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