It's full of stars, and galaxies, and clusters and planets!

Posted on Mon 30 March 2009 in geek


We visited Mudgee observatory on Saturday. It's set a fair way away from the main town down a long dirt track and hidden by two hills. Despite the small bush fire adding a little smoke to the atmosphere we still got a magnificent view of the night sky. John the owner gave us a wonderful tour of globular clusters and nebula on his large reflector telescope. He also had his computer controlled telescope tracking Saturn with a fantastically clear view of the rings and 4 of the moons.

I can't believe I had such trouble finding the Magellenic clouds the night before. They are easily seen with the naked eye especially in the relative darkness we where in. I think the clouds coming in the night before made things trickier to spot. I also did some exploring with my binoculars and spotted the Coal Sack region in the milky way, a dark splodge in an otherwise bright part of the sky caused by a large cloud of hydrogen gas. The only thing we didn't get to see was M7 which is the nebula we think Sol came from. It was still bellow the horizon with the rest of Scorpio by the time we finally decided it was time to head back to the hotel for bed.

One that I hadn't seen in Oz until last night was a proper wild kangaroo. They are around most places out of town but are essentially nocturnal animals. However as we headed back to the hotel at half eleven along the dirt track we did come across a couple. They are not very bright though as they hopped along in front of us down the track for about 2km before finally jumping off the road. I did manage to get a few grainy shots of them with my camera by leaning out of the car window though.