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Mt. Stromlo Public Astronomy Nights

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Mount Stromlo Observatory Visitor Centre

Cotter Road

Weston Creek, ACT 2611


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Event description


Mount Stromlo Observatory in conjunction with the Canberra Astronomical Society invite the Canberra community to attend our public observing nights of 2019. Come and see the rings of Saturn, the craters of the moon, and beautiful star clusters and nebulae. On the night attendees will be taken on a ‘tour of the universe’ with talks by astronomers from Mt. Stromlo Observatory and observations on several telescopes.

Bookings are essential and entry is by gold coin donation. Warm clothing is recommended.

If you have any questions, please check FAQs below as they may have already been answered.

In the event of cloudy/bad weather, stargazing will be cancelled (the talks will occur regardless of the weather). You can check out the weather at Mt Stromlo using our all sky camera. We will also post status updates on our Facebook page.

2019 Dates: 12 April, 10 May, 7 June, 12 July, 16 August, 27 September.


My preferred date is sold out. Will more tickets become available for it or do you have a waitlist?

Sorry, we do not release extra tickets to our public nights, nor do we maintain a waitlist. However, please check back 1-2 days before the event as tickets may become available again as people cancel their orders.

I am no longer able to attend. How do I cancel my ticket?

You can do this by clicking the "Tickets" link under your name at the top right of the page. Select “Manage your Order” and then choose “Cancel Order”. Further instructions are available on the Eventbrite website.

How will the event run?

The stargazing will start at 7pm and last for two hours. There will be 10-20 telescopes available on the night, with the same objects in the sky being visible all evening (weather dependent), so you can come and go as you choose. There will also be a few talks from 7-9pm aimed at a variety of ages and lasting no more than 30 minutes each. The talk schedule will be posted on the day (the talks will occur regardless of the weather), though we will try to communicate it earlier. The telescopes will be outside the Visitor Centre while the talks will be inside.

What do I need to bring? What about safety?

Mount Stromlo is a dark site and there is minimal lighting. Please be careful where you walk and bring a torch to navigate the carpark and road as some terrain may be hazardous. Torches must not be used near the telescopes. Please turn torches off and let your eyes adjust to the dark before approaching the telescopes.

For safety, please wear appropriate footwear with a non-slip sole as well as warm clothing. Lining up outside can be very cold, so think snow gear (beanies, gloves, scarf, coat etc).

Is the event suitable for children?

The telescopes are suitable for nearly all ages - 3 year olds usually can understand they are looking at the Moon. It also depends on the level of interest of the child - if they are interested, it is more than suitable. There can be waits to look through the telescopes which might be the most difficult part. We suggest getting there earlier (often a few telescopes are set up from 6:30).

Kid-friendly talks will be noted on the schedule. However, most talks are suitable for older kids.

Children must be supervised at all times.

What are my public transport options for getting to and from the event?

Public transport does not service Mount Stromlo Observatory. Your best options are to either get a taxi/Uber from your location to Mount Stromlo, or get a bus to the nearby suburbs of Wright or Duffy and then a taxi/Uber from there to Mount Stromlo. Information on bus routes and timetables can be found here.

What parking is available?

There are several areas for cars to park on the mountain – please follow the directions of parking attendants to ensure everyone is parked safely. Overflow parking is available, however, we encourage carpooling. There is no defined footpath from the overflow parking to the event, so if you have mobility issues we encourage you to get there early.

If you are getting picked up at the end of the night, the boom gate will close at 9:30pm.

Can I look through the big telescope?

The telescopes used during public nights are smaller ones aimed at outreach. Mount Stromlo Observatory was severely damaged by the firestorm of 18 January 2003. As a result, all of the large telescopes at Mount Stromlo Observatory have been decommissioned. Our sister observatory, Siding Spring Observatory near Coonabarabran, NSW, now hosts all of the Research School's operational large telescopes.

Who will be the speakers for each night?

Details of speakers will be added to the event description page on the Mount Stromlo Observatory website. Check back closer to the date.


Mount Stromlo Observatory Visitor Centre

Cotter Road

Weston Creek, ACT 2611


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