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Past Events 2019 and prior

Aug 04, 2019

Total Solar Eclipse in Chile: the journey, the event and aftermath

Presented by Melissa Hulbert and Toner Stevenson

On 2 July a total solar eclipse was able to be seen from South America. These are amazing, but short events which attract millions to view, many thousands to travel to from distance places, and sometimes cause havoc at airports and other transport hubs. The experience of being in the shadow of the Moon for a few hours in the Andes with a small group of other passionate ecipse-chasers will be shared  by Melissa Hulbert and Toner Stevenson. The story will begin and end with the journey, which is part of the adventure and include images and anecdotes along the way.

Image of the diamond ring, 2 July 2019: Photo and copyright Melissa Hulbert ©, all rights reserved.



Melissa Hulbert is an astronomer who works for the MAAS at Sydney Observatory and teaches on-line astronomy, astro-photography and CCD Imaging online units of study for Swinburne University, Melbourne. Melissa has now experienced nine total solar eclipses. She has presented at internaitonal solar eclipse and is well known for her photographic expertise and as a science communicator. Melissa is also President of the Australian Society of Geneaologists.


Toner Stevenson is vice president of Sydney City Skywatchers and was previously manager of Sydney Observatory. This is her fifth total solar eclipse. Toner has also worked in other heritage sites as Head of House Museums for Sydney Living Museums and is currently Manager School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry at The University of Sydney. Her Doctoral Thesis researched the women who observed and measured the stars from 1887 to 1971 in Australia.


Date: Monday 5 August

Time: 6:30pm

Place: Sydney Observatory 1002 Upper Fort Street Millers Point Sydney, near The Rocks.

Cost: $2 supper charge for members; $5 non-members.

Jun 30, 2019

Apollo 11: making an exhibition with Dr Sarah Reeves

Commemorating 50 years since the first Lunar landing

Commemorating 50 years since the first Lunar landing

Apollo 11 : making an exhibition with Sarah Reeves

A new exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum celebrates and investigates the first Moon landing 50 years after the event. Curator Sarah Reeves has been researching the collections and stories, as well as working with interactive designers to create a contemporary reflection of the event and it’s meaning to us then and now. We will gain a unique close and meaningful understanding of her journey.

Dr Sarah Reeves is Assistant Curator (Science) for the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. She holds a Bachelor of Science and a PhD in Astronomy, from the University of Sydney. For her thesis she worked with the ASKAP-FLASH team studying the evolution of galaxies using radio telescopes. Since 2014 she has worked as an astronomy guide at Sydney Observatory, where she enjoys sharing her love of astronomy with the public, and in 2016 took up a position as Assistant Curator (Science) at MAAS, where she has worked on a wide range of science exhibitions for both adults and children. She also coordinates, and writes regularly for, the Museum’s Inside the Collection blog.

On display at the Powerhouse Museum, and featuring over 200 objects,  Apollo 11 commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Moon landing. Named after the spaceflight that was the first to land astronauts on the Moon’s surface in 1969, the exhibition explores this defining moment in history, its lasting impact on science, society and design, and the crucial role Australia played in transmitting the famous footage.


Of course you will be keen to book tickets to see Apollo 11 - before or after Dr Reeves presentation at Sydney Observatory.

Date: Monday 1 July

Time: 6:30pm

Place: Sydney Observatory 1003 Upper Fort Street Millers Point Sydney (near The Rocks)

Cost: Members contribute $2 towards supper and non-members $5. 

Jun 02, 2019

Apollo 11 Lunar Mission and the Vital Link: NASA Space Tracking Facilities in Australia

Presented by Kerrie Dougherty: historian, curator and author

Fifty years ago NASA launched Apollo 11 - the first mission to land on the Moon. Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on July 20, 1969 whilst Michael Collins remained in orbit around the Moon. Those who were alive will remember where they were precisely when the first images of that landing were beamed onto our television screens.  This presentation will focus on the Australian space tracking role in Apollo and particularly the television broadcast of Apollo 11. The photograph on this page shows Neil Armstrong servicing the Lunar Module, Credit: NASA.


Kerrie Dougherty is one of Australia's foremost experts on the history of Space technology. She is a space historian, curator and writer and a lecturer in the Space Humanities department of the International Space University. Kerrie is a Member of the International Academy of Astronautics, serving on its History of Astronautics Committee, and also serves on the International Astronautical Federation's Space Education and Outreach Committee and its Space Societies and Museums Committee. Kerrie has a special interest in the history of Australian space activities, which is the focus of her PhD research.

She is the author of several books and articles on space history, including Australia in Space, published in 2017. This popular history tells the story of Australia’s involvement with space activities, from the earliest rocketeers to the latest satellite projects.

The presentation starts at 6:30pm. Seating is limited and there is a charge to cover the cost of a light supper – $2 for members; $5 for non-members. Bookings are not required. 

Location: Sydney Observatory, 1002 Upper Fort Street Millers Point, Sydney

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