Sprinkbrook Research Observatory - Goldcoast
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Directions to Sprinkbrook Research Observatory
The southern sky is full of interesting objects, many of which go unseen in the northern hemisphere. All you need for a good nights viewing is yourself, a good idea of where south and east are, and your hands.
Winter sees our night skies dominated by the Southern Cross, sprawling Scorpio and Sagittarius, in which the heart of our galaxy hides, so it's well worth stepping out into the chill for an astronomical thrill.
Andre Clayden is owner, builder and custodian of Springbrook Research Observatory, whose spinning dome structure, and two roll off roof Observatories, attracts thousands of visitors to Springbrook each year. Photographic images of the southern sky assist northern enthusiasts with their observations.
Like many Astronomers, Andre's interest was sparked at school.
About 18 years ago, Andre saw a video that changed his life.
'It was about an American priest called Dobsonian who was known as 'the sidewalk astronomer', he said.
'He'd hold star parties and go to National Park to show people sunspots through his telescope.
'His whole objective was to let kids look through telescopes and if he inspired just one or two in a thousand he was happy.'
'It was a fabulous idea that allowed people to see, feel and be a part of science.'
So Andre, with a view to doing the same thing, bought his first telescope.
The trouble is, he said, astronomers suffer from 'aperture disease' - they keep having to get a bigger telescope.
Then came computers and the CCD - a camera that allows people to view celestial bodies such as Nebulae, Galaxies, Comets, Planets and the Moon in 'real time'.
It took five months and five kilometres of jigsaw cutting to build the first dome of Springbrook Observatory.
The observatory has attracted amateur Astronomers from around the world as well as visitors, Universities and multi-national media organizations.
Thanks to the Internet, astronomers on the other side of the world can share the wonder of our Springbrook dark skies with our online robotic telescopes.
Open Nightly - Weather permitting
Phone mobile 0400789451 to confirm/book.
Cost: Adults $15.00
Groups of 20 or more $10.00pp
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