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Outreach: Observing at Rouse Hill!

Photograph by Ada Chow

As part of the Sydney Science Festival, Sydney City Skywatchers supported the Stargazing at Rouse Hill House and Farm event organised by Sydney Living Museums and held on Saturday 18 August. Over 300 participants were welcomed to country by Darug elder, Auntie Leanne Watson. We were then treated to stories of Indigenous and western astronomy by astrophysicist Kirsten Banks. In the schoolhouse Moon phases were taught and the Sydney Living Museums guides and volunteers ensured the historic house was open for viewing and beautifully presented in candlelight.

Toner Stevenson and Andrew Jacob assembling the society's telescope - photo Ada Chow

Sydney City Skywatchers: Trish and Ross, Andrew, Peter, Merrin, Honour and myself setup several telescopes, as did Sydney Observatory guides. What a sight! we were able to show visitors Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn, as well as the open cluster called the 'Jewel Box' and a beautiful quarter Moon.

The 'Highly Irregular Orbits', who are also Skywatcher members, played astronomically themed tunes. Wafts of 'Fly me to the Moon' and 'Catch a falling star..' as well as 'Satellite of Love'. Very appropriate as we had seen a satellite earlier in the evening pass right overhead! Ada has taken some beautiful photographs of us setting up our telescopes and enjoying the country atmosphere.

Sydney City Skywatchers member, Ann Cairns, also supported the Sydney Science Festival by taking her telescope to Centennial Park on Friday 17 August through which 100 people viewed the stars and planets.

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