Go Back   IceInSpace > General Astronomy > Star Parties, Club and Community Events

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #1  
Old 19-12-2018, 06:52 PM
DRWskies (Josu)
Registered User

DRWskies is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Shetland, Scotland
Posts: 4
Visiting Darwin on late march 2019. any groups or anyone?

Greetings everyone!! I am 26 year old backpacker, from Spain but currently based in the UK. I've been interested on astronomy and space exploration since I was 4, and have been observing the northern skies with modest telescopes for the last 14 years, and from the Shetland isles I've finally been able to admire the aurora!. However, the whole picture is still missing.

Recently, my circumstances have changed a lot, and allowed me the opportunity to book a trip to the southern hemisphere, with some constraints.

Santiago, Windhoek and Darwin were the options I considered as bases, with a radius of about 100 mi around them. As you know, Darwin is not optimal, since it is only 12 degrees south to the equator, and has the greatest amount of precipitation, but for other reasons it was the winner.

I would not feel familiar venturing on my own at night, on the other side of the world, especially since some sources claim it's a bit of a troubled city (for Australian standards).

So I thought that it would be not just easier but a lot more fun if I was lucky to find some star party happening around the time I'm there, or some guys who I could hang around with. All the guidance and help would help. Telescopes would be a plus, but not even that is a must, happy enough with being able to identify constellations and objects that are impossible to see from up here. I will return to the continent, but it will not be soon.

Thanks for your attention, I look forward your suggestions, and feel free to contact me.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 21-12-2018, 10:01 PM
DRWskies (Josu)
Registered User

DRWskies is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Shetland, Scotland
Posts: 4
Hello, it's me again. I must say, before registering on this forum I attempted to contact the Darwin astronomy group, it seems they used to keep a website which is now defunct. The domain that e-mail address used also seems to be long dead.

So maybe someone even from somewhere else can help me find an alternative way to contact them (if they still exist as such), or some of their former members?

Also, maybe someone from elsewhere in tropical Australia (northern Queensland perhaps?) or who has had a holiday there can provide insight of what is it like to attempt observations at the end of the wet season? likehood of cloud cover, bushfire haze, etc? tips, experiences, etc?

I would appreciate your replies very much.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 22-12-2018, 10:38 PM
Outcast's Avatar
Outcast (Carlton)
Still a Noob....

Outcast is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cairns, Qld
Posts: 261
Hi Josu,

Can't speak for Darwin as I haven't done any observing up there but, I live in Far North Queensland.

Observing during the wet season is a bit hit & miss; Most of the time we have heavy cloud cover & often rain; when it's not raining, the humidity is usually very high which often kills the seeing.

Having said that, about a week ago we had a fantastic night's seeing as the temperature dropped & the humidity was under 50%. Took some video of the moon & defocused stars to send to someone on the forum to assist me with checking my optics & then later captured some great images of M42.

There is no astronomy club here in Cairns unfortunately & only a handful of 'semi serious' backyard astronomers that I am aware of.

I would think seeing in Darwin this time would likely be very similar but, the climate is even more oppressive than here in Cairns, generally hotter & far more humid.

Not sure if any IIS members live in Darwin; there used to be one I was aware of but, I think he has moved out of Darwin, not 100% sure.

Basically, this time of year is not kind to astronomy, dry season is much better seeing conditions & greater chance of no cloud cover.

Cheers
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 24-12-2018, 09:14 AM
castor
Registered User

castor is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 52
I've been to Darwin in May when it was well and truly dry season. Seeing the Plough there was one of my most exciting experiences.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 24-12-2018, 10:33 AM
brian nordstrom's Avatar
brian nordstrom (As avatar)
Registered User

brian nordstrom is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Perth WA
Posts: 4,284
Such a shame to hear about the DAG's , I lived there for 10 years up until 3 years ago and we met every saturday night when there was less moon through the ' Dry ' season April - September and the dark site we used out at HumptyDo was awesome . Pitch black with full horizon to horizon views .

There are a few Darwinites here on IIS , perhaps a few PM's to arrange a few nights viewing while you are there ? .

Note all the EQ mounts all set at 12* south . .

Good luck .

Brian.
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (057 (560x375).jpg)
140.5 KB17 views
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 25-12-2018, 02:10 PM
DRWskies (Josu)
Registered User

DRWskies is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Shetland, Scotland
Posts: 4
Hello, thank you for your replies, all of which I truly appreciate!

I have some news. Last week I retrieved a copy of the darwinastronomy.com site from over 10 years ago, it was stored on archive.org (the 'wayback machine', a useful page which stores snapshots of websites, forever) that allowed me to get the numbers of Allen and Matt, who I think were the ones who mainly managed the group.

So I called Allen, he was really pleasant, and he told me that they discontinued the group and website precisely 3 years ago, that people in Darwin don't tend to stick around, and that he has lost in touch with everyone including Matt (who I haven't attempt to contact yet).
But he also suggested to call him again closer to my arrival, so maybe by then we can find a way to recover people and arrange something. So, that left me an optimistic aftertaste.

Lately, I have been simulating skies in attempt to better understand what to expect. It turns out that it is possible to see all of the southern constellations despite the modest 12 deg lat, however, all night long is required as opposed to do so at locations such as Hobart or Invercargill. On late march, the sun is located far from most of the big attractions. But the SMC will be fairly close to the horizon shortly after dusk, at 19.20, so it will have to be the first priority of the session. A 78% moon will be rising at 22.30.

Pleased to read that it's possible to find good dark sites close to the city!
I will not be hiring a car this time, but I can certainly help with the car expenses of whoever offers to drive wherever we do it.

Regarding the weather in tropical Australia, it's nice to read that you get lucky nights even in the middle of the wet season! But I would like to hear more details about the transition between wet and dry seasons.
How abrupt is it? And specifically, how is it like in late March and early April?

Thank you again! and happy christmas, or happy summer
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (Screenshot (11)-min-min.jpg)
157.8 KB9 views

Last edited by DRWskies; 25-12-2018 at 02:46 PM. Reason: magellanic cloud
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 25-12-2018, 11:38 PM
Outcast's Avatar
Outcast (Carlton)
Still a Noob....

Outcast is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cairns, Qld
Posts: 261
Hi Josu,

This website will give you some insight into conditions over the March/April timeframe. It's pretty basic but, gives you a general overview month to month...

https://www.australia.com/en/facts-a...in-darwin.html

Obviously nothing is guaranteed but, at the bottom it gives you average temps & rainfall for each month. You will note that March is still quite wet but, April is considerably less so, based on averages.

Hopefully this might assist you; your contact will likely be able to provide you with more precise information.

Cheers
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
clubs, darwin, northern territory, star party, tourist

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time is now 04:13 PM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.7 | Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertisement
SkyWatcher WiFi Adaptor
Advertisement
SkyWatcher 2018 Catalogue
Advertisement
OzScopes Authorised Dealer
Advertisement
NexDome Observatories
Advertisement
Bintel
Advertisement
Lunatico Astronomical
Advertisement
Interest Free Finance
Advertisement
Astronomy and Electronics Centre
Advertisement