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Thread: Observatory at Mudgee NSW

  1. #1
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Observatory at Mudgee NSW

    No, it doesn't mean that you can see a conservative English politician there, but I would like to draw your
    attention to a (from all reports) recently opened public astronomical observatory there.

    In fact, it goes by the name of Mudgee Observatory, and though it is some 19 km from the town, it is close enough to be
    an accurate description as well.

    Two of us went there this past Friday evening, and for the fee of $10 per adult, we were regaled with views of various heavenly
    objects and some interesting talk and some audio-visual presentation. In addition, we enjoyed the crisp air of a late-Autumn Mudgee evening.

    We used a 16-inch f/6 Newtonian reflector and an 11-inch (Meade or Celestron - it was so dark I couldn't see the name) for some 240X views of Saturn's subtle
    splendour. (Well, in this case subtle and splendour seemed to fit the bill.) On this point, I might say that the image of that planet seemed to be about the
    size of the full moon to the naked eye. That was my impression, anyway, and perhaps an astonomer might clarify this.

    The 16-inch reflector was used to view various star clusters, including the Jewel Box and the Omega Centauri globular cluster.

    In addition, we (last to leave) had a little tour of the whole facility, which included about six "domes" - one with a rolling flat roof - and one of which
    housed an 11-inch (I think) astrograph. That was a gasp-worthy thing to see! Any number of 4-inch refractors - mostly for solar work and with substantial
    H-alpha filters, guide-scopes of considerable girth in themselves, and various other grades of (seemingly amateur) telescopes abounded.

    In all it was a most interesting evening, and the proprietor, John, was a font of home-grown (by his own admission) knowledge and practical ability, able
    to marshal and present facts about astronomy and telescopery and astrophotgraphy that he had developed over the past 40 years in an engaging
    broad country accent, just as you might expect a neighbouring sheep-farmer to sport.

    OK, well, here's the website...

    MUDGEE OBSERVATORY

    Just a word if driving from Mudgee to there: take the tarred Hill End Rd PAST the turn-off to Old Grattai Rd and turn into that from the "far" end. That way you
    will avoid chewing quite a few kilometres of dust from the dirt road - about 1 Km instead of about 10. Also, take a torch with you, as the car park can be
    QUITE DARK.

    Am. (Who didn't take any pics of the place!)
    Last edited by ameerat42; 07-05-2013 at 8:08pm.
    CC, Image editing OK.

  2. #2
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post

    Am. (Who didn't take any pics of the place!)
    Can you attach a camera to any of his equipment?

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    Hi Am

    Nice write up, it reads like you had a very interesting and rewarding evening.

    If the SCT is an 11 inch, then it will be a Celestron as Meade manufacture 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 inch instruments, whereas the Celestron range goes 8, 9¼, 11 and 14 inches.

    In terms of apparent size, Saturn’s disc is approximately 19x17 arc secs with the ring system around 43 arc secs at the moment, it reached opposition on 28th April this year.

    Cheers

    Dennis

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    Can you attach a camera to any of his equipment?
    Mark, only by inference - the multitude of images he's taken - I'd say you can. I didn't directly ask, but the SCTs especially only require a suitable adapter, and those are quite common.
    With all the gear he has there, I'd say there'd be the means for a prime focus shot. Give him a call and discuss (then let me know)

    Quote Originally Posted by nardes View Post
    Hi Am

    Nice write up, it reads like you had a very interesting and rewarding evening.

    If the SCT is an 11 inch, then it will be a Celestron as Meade manufacture 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 inch instruments, whereas the Celestron range goes 8, 9¼, 11 and 14 inches.

    In terms of apparent size, Saturn’s disc is approximately 19x17 arc secs with the ring system around 43 arc secs at the moment, it reached opposition on 28th April this year.

    Cheers

    Dennis
    Ta Dennis, so brushing off the calculator (assuming Saturn hasn't shrunk much since then and taking 18 acrseconds as a "round" figure), how does...

    18 arcsec x 240 (mag) = 4320 arcsec

    4320 arcsec / 3600 = 1.2 degrees (!!??!!)

    Cripes! That seems large at twice the size of the full moon?

    Am.

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