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"Gingin Observatory"

This month, Gingin Observatory and the Gravity Discovery Centre were featured in the Japanese astronomy magazine, Hoshi Navi! The article featured both centres and highlights the fact that Western Australia is one of the best places on Earth for stargazing. The online version is available at http://www.astroarts.co.jp/shop/showcase/magazine/2010/05/index-j.shtml.

In recent weeks, the possible closure of the Gravity Discovery Centre science facility has been highlighted in local news. This will not affect Gingin Observatory and its stargazing nights. The Gravity Discovery Centre’s Foundation has been working hard to secure more funding in order to continue its operation and it’s hoped that more support is attracted. It makes a great day out for families! A visit and country meal at the Gravity Discovery Centre followed by stargazing in the evening at the Gingin Observatory.

There are some great stargazing events coming up. Saturn is high in our sky in the evenings and is looking spectacular. There’s a special event to celebrate Mothers’ Day and the next B.Y.O. Telescope is set for later in May for those who’d like some tips and hints on telescope use.

Mothers are Stars! (Sunday, 9 May 2010)
B.Y.O. Telescope Class (Sunday, 23 May 2010)
Coming Up!
Dark Night Stargazing and Virgo (Sunday, 6 June 2010)
Lunar Eclipse Special Event (Saturday, 26 June 2010)
Jupiter Bus Tour (Sunday, 24 October 2010)
What’s New?
Astrophotography Course
Questions of Gravity (Thursday, 3 June 2010)


Mothers truly are stars at Gingin Observatory! On Mothers’ Day, celebrate with your Mum under the beautiful Milky Way. If you’d like a meal before stargazing, there’s an optional Mothers’ Day 3 course buffet including Thai Coconut Curry, Plum and Chilli Chicken and more with homemade desserts to finish at local Amirage Restaurant. Stargazing will follow just 5 minutes down the road at Gingin Observatory!

Sunday, 9 May 2010. Stargazing is from 7.30pm to 9.30pm and costs $34 adults, $29 seniors, $18 children (6 to 16 years) and $100 family (2 adults and 2 children). Stargazing bookings: www.ginginobservatory.com or 08 9575 7740. Dinner is from 5pm and costs $49.50 per person and can be booked by calling 08 9575 7646.

The last telescope class of autumn is on Sunday, 23 May 2010. This single evening class will tell you all you need to know. How to set telescopes up and how to use them. With the Gingin Observatory astronomers on hand, you will perfect your technique using your own telescope in no time at all. The Observatory telescopes will also be available to view through.

Sunday, 23 May 2010. 5.30pm to 8pm. Bookings: www.ginginobservatory.com or 08 9575 7740. The course costs $85 for the telescope owner. Extra visitors are welcome at $30 adults, $25 seniors and $18 children (6 to 16 years).


On this dark night of stargazing, the special highlight will be the constellation of Virgo. Have you ever wondered what your star sign looks like up in the night sky? It’s a chance to see what the Virgo constellation looks like, find out some of its history and see some special astronomical objects within it.

Sunday, 6 June 2010. 7pm to 9.30pm. $34 adults, $29 seniors, $18 children (6 to 16 years) and $100 family (2 adults and 2 children). Bookings: www.ginginobservatory.com or 08 9575 7740.

Join Gingin Observatory for this special event that highlights the second partial lunar eclipse of 2010. The eclipse begins at sunset and finishes at 9pm with the mid eclipse visible at 7.38pm. Just over half of the Moon will be in Earth's shadow, creating a wonderful sight. Head Astronomer, Grant Thornett, will offer an interesting presentation on the moon and how eclipses occur. Then it will be out to the telescopes to have a closer look at what's going on!

This event will run regardless of weather. If it's cloudy or raining, an alternative theatre program with more information about the moon and eclipses will be offered. Usually there is a break in the cloud that allows for viewing through telescopes. However, if the weather makes this impossible on the night, 2 for 1 vouchers will be issued so as to make a subsequent visit to Gingin Observatory half price.

Saturday, 26 June 2010. 6pm to 9pm. $38 adults, $33 seniors, $19 children and $110 family (2 adults and 2 children). Bookings: www.ginginobservatory.com or 08 9575 7740.

Funseeker Tours is taking a journey to Jupiter and you can hop on board too! Pick up points are at various locations in Perth and you can sit back and relax. Leave the driving to someone else. You'll enjoy dinner before heading to the stars at Gingin Observatory. View through telescopes and see fascinating Jupiter, stars and much more! Gingin Observatory Astronomers will give a laser beam constellation tour and then fly you through the Milky Way Galaxy on the big screen before you hop back on the bus to head home. It's never been easier! Sunday, 24 October 2010. $89 per person. Prices include everything. Bookings: Funseeker Tours on 08 9478 5520 (24hrs).


Expressions of interest are now being invited for participation in a one night astrophotography course to be held by the Astronomy Group of WA. The date is Wednesday, 12 May 2010. 7pm to 9.30pm and includes coffee break. $25 per person. Some proceeds from the night will go towards ongoing improvements to Golden Grove Observatory facilities. The Astronomy Group of WA is a great local group. Expressions of interest for the course can be emailed to Astra at starrynites@upnaway.com.


On Thursday, 3 June 2010 the Gravity Discovery Centre in conjunction with the University of Western Australia’s School of Physics is offering a special "Questions of Gravity" day for years 10, 11 and 12. The day includes a 45 minute question and answer session with Prof Roy Kerr, hands on demonstrations of Einstein's gravity with Prof David Blair and Galileo's experiments from the Leaning Tower of Gingin. Bookings: education@gdc.asn.au or phone 08 9575 7577.

See you in the stars!
Carol Redford and Donna Vanzetti