Stargazing and Amateur Astronomy Outreach by Members
In addition to the informative talks at our monthly meetings Sydney City Skywatchers (SCS) offers or assists at public sky viewings. Over the past couple of years members have taken their telescopes, binoculars and enthusiasm to astronomy events at Sydney Observatory and Centennial Parklands. Recent events have included a Sydney Observatory lunar eclipse event and Earth Hour events as well as Stars for Your Valentine, The Planets-Music and Science in the Park and Astronomy 101.
Some might ask, “Why bother attending an astronomy viewing night under the light polluted skies of Sydney.” Well, while the light pollution is not ideal for some types of viewing it doesn’t prevent us from seeing the glorious wanderers of our solar system, the planets. City skies also are a great way to learn to identify our brightest stars and constellations without the sometimes overwhelming starfield of a dark country sky.
Of course, the Moon is always a popular and easy object to view and these days it is often possible to spot and identify artificial satellites passing overhead, especially the International Space Station (ISS) and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST).
The SCS’s outreach volunteers who bring their telescopes to events are passionate about sharing their love and knowledge of the night (and sometimes day) skies with the public. Most of the members bring along their highly portable (grab-n-go) telescope set-ups and sometimes we show off our club’s antique brass telescopes that date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. These telescopes give us amazing views of the moon, planets and their moons, and deep sky objects like star clusters, double stars and galaxies. There are a few larger scopes that come along to events now and then that allow surprisingly detailed glimpses of the cloud layers of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn and some glittering deep sky objects.
Watch for future events on this website and we will hope to see you come along next time. Photograph at left of members during set-up by Elizabeth Budek.
Many thanks Centennial Parklands, particularly Christian Eckhardt, for his impressive organisation and care, and photographs by Centennial Park and MacDougall Photography, Elizabeth Budek and Toner Stevenson