View Full Version here: : Summer observing for a northerner...?
Hi..sorry, I mean G'day... :D
I am hoping to visit Oz in 2013 for an observing trip. I've been to Australia before, twice, but both times were during autumn and winter. This time I'm hoping to be able to visit during summer, sometime around Jan-March or Oct-Dec 2013.
Where are the best places to go during the southern summer for the highest chance of clear skies?
Btw - if this is in the wrong forum, please feel free to move it. It seemed a good fit here. :)
23-08-2011, 09:47 AM
Hi Faith. :)
Where are you from?
I ask, because our Summer, in the northern half of the country, can be intolerable if you come from a cold climate. And you won't enjoy our skies if you're suffering from heat exhaustion.
Summer (for us) is wet season in the far north. Avoid the coast too. Otherwise, you will have hot days and mostly cool, clear nights inland. :)
23-08-2011, 11:07 AM
Tasmania would be lovely to retreat to in Summer. :D
With the SCP high in the sky.
Around our summer: Not South Australia (very hot), not Queensland (hot and humid), not the Northern Territory (very hot and very humid).
Inland NSW, inland Victoria or, as mentioned, Tasmania would be the best choices.
That coming from someone who has lived in NSW, SA, QLD, VIC and the ACT... and worked in extensively in the NT!
Oopppss... please forgive the state abbreviations in the previous sentence! :)
I should add that I am ASSUMING you are coming from a cool climate... maybe you love the heat or you are from a hot climate yourself...
Kilcoy's skies are relatively dark... ;)
Sorry, I should have said where I'm from - I'm from England. I live in a cool climate but I love hot weather (I did get heat exhaustion in Texas one year, I don't intend to repeat that mistake!). I am not going to go to the north of Australia, as I know it's very humid and wet during the summer months (I caught the tail end of the wet season last time I was there).
Grant - don't worry about the state abbreviations. They're pretty easy to work out. :)
Thanks for the replies so far. :)
23-08-2011, 11:31 PM
October isn't too bad over here in the West, and there's still some good seeing occasionally. Jan to Feb is becoming hellish - over 40 degrees and usually pretty lousy seeing. Almost guaranteed to be clear from October on.
Plenty of poms (British immigrants) live over here, in fact many of them appear to enjoy life-threatening levels of solar exposure after a lifetime of grey skies.
I've not been to WA (WA and Tassie are the two states/territories I've not visited), so it seems like a good place to go, around October/November. December might not be an option as the return air fares out from the UK go right up, thanks to Christmas and New Year holidays.
Also, are the Magellanic Clouds well placed during the summer? I have seen them during the winter but what about summer?
Are there any star parties during the Aussie summer? I know of the autumn or winter ones, such as Queensland Astrofest (I went to that in 1997) and SPSP.
LOL - but, in defence of my country, our skies aren't really too bad...it depends on where in the UK you are and what time of year (winter here is really ultra-depressing). If you live in Scotland, north west England or west Wales the skies are grey, it's really wet and I'd hate to live there. But if you live, as I do, in the south east, where our weather is influenced more by continental Europe (France) than the Atlantic Ocean, it is much sunnier and clearer than the rest of the place. We get less rain in SE England than Dallas, Rome or...Sydney (http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/markmann/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/sydney_gets_twice_as_much_rain_as_l ondon_why_are_we_short_of_water/).
24-08-2011, 03:21 PM
You can observe anywhere in Australia you like. 2 hours drive out of any of the capital cities will get you excellent skies.
Coonababran is generally regarded as one of the better places to observe. It is about 6 hrs drive North West of Sydney. It is the single most popular astronomy destination in Australia for overseas visiting astronomers, and for good reason.
3Rf Australia host an annual observing trip for overseas observers to Coonababran around Feb/March each year. The date for the 2013 trip has not been set yet but here is a link to the information and brochure for the February 2012 trip.
Have a look over the 3rf websites and the Ozsky website and you will see exactly what we do as a non profit volunteer based organisation and how the OZsky trip works.
We will also be hosting a trip in November 2012 to coincide with the total solar eclipse which will be visible from the Northern part of Australia at this time.
Basically these trips are open to anyone "from overseas" who wishes to join in. We provide about 6 experienced local observers who transport the equipment to Coonababran and basically make the visitors time as relaxed and as comfortable as possible. We provide several high quality scopes from 14" to 30", a pair of 25 x 150 fujinon binoculars mounted on an electric star chair and a 12" binocular telescope. The group size is usually 20 to 30 people and there are enough scopes so that usually one scope is shared between 2 or 3 observers. This started out many years ago with a group of hardy americans (Texans) who ventured down here but has grown significantly and we have hosted observers from all over the world in recent years. It is an excellent opportunity to experience the Southern skies with premium equipment already provided for you. This has been run every year since 2004 between Feb and April in each year. We have also run a couple of October/November trips as well to cater for people who wish to see the other side of the sky.
If you would like further information drop me an email at john.bambury_at_3rf_dot_com_dot_au
Thanks John. I might give the 2013 OzSky a go. I know the Texans who are involved, from my trips to the Texas Star Party.
I'll drop you an email some time.
Btw - I've just checked out your observing list - it looks good and just the thing for an observing trip to the Southern Hemisphere. :thumbsup:
28-08-2011, 10:46 PM
I didn't realise it was you. :D
If you do end up going to Coona, I'll make the effort to head down too. It would be great to finally catch up.
There's also an open invitation to come and visit at my place. I have friends in dark places. :D
LOL! Thanks. I did wonder when the penny would drop. :D :rofl:
Many thanks for the invite. I'll definitely let you know when I'm there. It all depends on finances. I am hoping to go the the Texas Star Party next year, then I have to save to get down to Oz in 2013. I'd like to do the OzSky thing, but if I can't save in time, there's always later in the year. Whatever, I am definitely aiming for some Oz observing in 2013.
"I have friends in dark places" I like that, JJJ, LOL
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