View Full Version here: : How (and where) to stargaze in the outback in July?
Dear astro-friends down-under
My name is Zbig ZEMBATY.
I live in Central Europe and I am an astro-amateur.See my web site:
I am attending a conference in Melbourne at the beginning of July. So I would like very much to spent about a week or two out of the city lights stargazing in the perfect clear skies of the Australian outback (I hope). In 2005 I was in Pingelly Heights (near Perth) and I enjoyed it very much.
Since the dobsonians 8" + are not air-line friendly then the best for me would be to join a group of stargazing persons with some instrumets (I can bring with me some TeleVue eyepieces).
Can you advice anything at this forum or directly to my e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org?
PS. For example at the first trial I checked the heart of outback near Alice Springs and Ayers Rock and I am confused as even in January many hotels are already booked for July.
30-01-2011, 08:48 AM
Forget the outback your from the northern skys :astron:
So IMO, would be better staying south and see the southern delights HIGHER in the sky :thumbsup:
30-01-2011, 09:30 AM
I see you have had experience here, having been to Pingelly. I suspect you won't be satisfied without dark skies and very little light pollution. If that is so, consider travelling to Broken Hill, in western NSW. We have a couple of members there who might be able to help.
Alternatively, stay in the Melbourne area and travel out at night from there. With up to two hours travel, you can find locations that are quite dark and we have a lot more members in the Melbourne and nearby areas that can help. In July, the temperature should feel just like a milder version of your home country!
New Moon is 1 July - when will you be here?
Well, thank you very much for your info. unfortunately my conference is beetween June 28th and July 7th. So being in Australia I plan to catch perhaps the begining of next new moon. I was thinking also to rent a car (or join some one for an astro-trip) and to find a really good place.
You can imagine that the best place for me is the one for which the probablity of clear sky is the highest. That is I why I was also considering to fly to Alice Springs, rent a car there and find something in a radius of 150km. But I was surprised to realize that it can be crowded in July overthere.
Two years ago I was in South Africe and the Karoo region 300km NE of Captown apperared a very good place (elevation almost 2000m). I met a person from their astro-club, we organized a trip together and did some nice photographs.
The comments are in Polish - but the photographs speak for themselves.
Perhaps now it could be possible too.
Anyway your advice is very important to me.
your both hints look very good - during the conference there can be some spare time and depending on the weather (!) - I can travel two hours out of the city. What is the weather like in July around Melbourne?
This Broken Hill could replace Alice Springs for the outback weather - I suppose. The only question is if there is a special time and place where people meet there out of the city lights.
thnx again for your advice
31-01-2011, 07:45 AM
Have an "astro camp" at the end of July for 4 days/ 3 nights about 5 hrs nth of Sydney. It is camping though and better still free, I usually carry most of what is needed like camp showers and toilet and cooking gear and generators . I could lend you a tent but you would need food, toiletries, drink and bedding.
Being winter in the "Barrington Tops" it will be cold ( but only down to: -2 or 3) but the sky at this spot is brilliant. On the rare occasion it snows
If you have google earth have a look at "Bretti Reserve NSW"
I have a post on starparties EOI bretti dates for 2011.
PM for further info if required. It is an easy drive from sydney on tarred roads (about 5 hrs)
Thank you for your kind information and invitation. This place looks very interesting and quite wild! Not only astronomy but also beautiful nature around. Now a few questions (if you don't mind):
I did not see any hostels around. I wonder if I could stay in a motel/hostel and join you by car for the nights?
If I rent a car in Sydney could it be just ordinary one? I mean - I would not need 4x4, I suppose?
What are the chances for clear skies there? 90%? You were never disappointed during these 4 nights when you were there before?
I suppose you use Newton-dobson (8"?). I can bring with me Ethos (6, 8 & 13mm) as well as Nagler 31mm.
I have another idea. If the weather is certain for this place - perhaps renting a van for 5 days (for 2 persons) could be worth money? I just guess, not knowing the rental rates and your usual attitudes.
31-01-2011, 01:14 PM
Zbig, While you are in Melbourne at the Conference and if the weather is clear (fairly good chance it will be) and if I don't have other commitments (I won't know until closer), I'd be happy to take you a few locations with my 12" reflector. One place will likely be here http://svaatest.site88.net/ probably with some other people and scopes on the monthly club night which will likely be Fri 1st July. I'll send you an email address by Private Message. Eric
31-01-2011, 10:00 PM
One can never guarantee that there won't be bad weather but when it is fine the sky is not disappointing believe me.
The road is good and a 4x4 is not necessary. A camper van would be ideal as 2 of the guys that go have then. I am sorry but i don't know the rental rates but common ones are " Brits", "Maui". There should be stacks to look at on the internet.
We picked this time as it is the new moon weekend. The closest town in Barrington which has a pub (?? accommodation). The area is beautiful.
The scopes the are present range from 8's like mine up to 16's (with any luck we might be able to encourage one of the guys who has a 20 SDM.
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