Bathurst Observatory Research Facility

Ph: 02 6337 3988 | Email Enquires:

  • Not all galaxies are spirals or have regular shapes. NGC 55is an example of an irregular galaxy in the constellation of Sculptor. It is fairly close at about 7 million light years away.
  • Why so many images of galaxies lately? This time of year, in the evening, the milky way is low in the west and therefore there are not as many clusters and nebula to image. But as we look up, we are looking out beyond our galaxy and towards many other distant galaxies. Many of these other galaxies reside in clusters, such as the Sculptor and Fornax groups. So until nebula are well placed again.... Galaxies like NGC 1232, about 60 million light years away! A beautiful classic spiral galaxy.
  • About 45 million light years away (in the constellation of Fornax) is this barred spiral galaxy, known as NGC 1097. The galaxy has been distorted by interactions with a nearby galaxy. There is something intriguing about spiral galaxies.
  • Two very different objects! NGC 246 is a gas bubble (nebula) expelled by a dying star. As some stars age, they shed their outer layers forming nebula like this. This one goes by the name of the "Skull Nebula". Can you see the shape? To the lower left is a very distant spiral galaxy (NGC 255). The galaxy is 70 million light years away while the nebula is part of our own Milky Way Galaxy and pretty close at 1600 light years away.
  • My son is learning to image with the telescope for a school project. The Moon provided an opportunity for him to trial his skills. This is the Aristarchus region of the moon. It features some prominent craters and an impressive lava channel. Most of the effort is not in taking the images, but in the processing. I think he did well!
  • Here is an image of the planet Mars I obtained on the 8th of October. Mars is a LONG way from Earth at present and a challenge to image (over 166 million kilometres away). To give you an idea, this was like trying to image a blowfly about 430 metres away! Still, if you look carefully you can make out a few surface markings.
  • Thank you for your input as to what you want! Venus is prominent in the western sky at present. Spot it just after sunset. It is the really bright star like object. As in the computer simulation, the Moon will be not far from Venus on the evening of the 4th! A bit higher up you will see Saturn too!
  • I am looking for ways of improving this page. I am interested in what you would like more of. I know the images of the moon were very popular and though I would still post images of other things, here are some ideas. 1. A more detailed focus on close ups of the moon (or planets when visible). 2. A monthly post of things you can see in the sky. 3. Other ideas? In the meantime I imaged galaxy NGC 300 on Friday. It is about 6 million light years away, so fairly close to our group of galaxies.
  • One of the best globular star clusters in the sky. This is  NGC 104, imaged during a break in the weather a few weeks ago.This run of wet weather has not only taken a toll on the observatory, but more seriously, the flooded crops and rivers are affecting our farmers.
  • While imaging the Moon on the 12th, I also grabbed a quick image of Saturn again. I have been refining the techniques. There is just something about Saturn!
  • Galaxy IC5201 is in the constellation of Grus. The galaxy is about 70 million light years away. I love the colour contrasts in this image! I imaged this a few weeks ago, and just got around to doing  something with it!
  • On the evening I imaged the Moon, I also obtained another close up. As you all seem to have enjoyed the last image, I thought I would  post this one also. Think of it as a thank you to you all!
  • It is rare for me to take close ups of the Moon. On the evening of the 6th September, I made an exception. I do love this area of the Moon and love the contrasts. It is almost like looking out the window of a space ship!
  • This is NGC 6872. It is the largest spiral galaxy known, being over 5 times longer (due to being stretched) than our galaxy. Located in the constellation of Pavo, it is around 212 million light years away! Some know it as the "Condor Galaxy".
  • NGC 7424. I find spiral galaxies just amazing. 7424 is in the constellation of Grus and about 37 million light years away. It is one of those images I find myself just staring at. I might have some interesting news soon as well!
  • The planetary conjunction of 27th August 2016. Though a bit closer on the 28th, my forecast was for cloud. In this image, Venus the lower bright one, Jupiter just above it, and Mercury upper left. As of the 28th, Venus will be above Jupiter. Go outside at twilight and enjoy (Great thing to show kids).
  • I used the clear night to image and test a few things. This is galaxy NGC 253. I use it as my cover photo. It is a dusty, almost side on large galaxy about 11 million light years away.
  • I find groups of galaxies fascinating. Thus group is known as the Grus Quartet. It is about 60 million light years away. I imaged this a few weeks ago.
  • Venus, Mercury and Jupiter are converging in the western evening twilight. Go outside and watch them over this coming week as they get closer. On the evening of the 28th of August, Venus and Jupiter will be at their closest. In reality the planets are actually no where near each other, but it is a line of sight perspective as viewed from Earth. This image was from the 20th. Venus is the lower brightest object, Mercury the upper left of the triangle and Jupiter the upper right.
  • Average stars (like our sun) certainly end their lives beautifully. This is M27. It is another example of a star shedding its outer layers in a giant bubble of gasses. The hot core of the dying star illuminates the gasses.
  • On Sunday the 14th August 2016, there was a double eclipse on the planet Jupiter. The moons Ganymede and Io cast their shadows on Jupiter. Ganymede has the larger shadow and the moon itself can just be seen to the  upper left of the planet. The image is a bit fuzzy due to the planet being fairly low in the sky.
  • It took some time, but I made some adjustments to the way I image planets with one of the telescopes. This is Saturn on the 13th of August 2016.
  • Globular star cluster M22 is in the constellation of Sagittarius. It is about 10,000 light years away. The background of the milky way certainly makes this a very rich star field!
  • I had a clear night and decided to do an imaging run. This is the Helix Nebula. It is basically the outer layers (like a giant gas bubble) being shed from a dying star. The distance away is estimated to be about 450 light years. It is fairly faint, so it takes a bit of effort to capture in an image.
  • August is a great month for stepping outside to see five planets with your own eyes! This computer simulation shows the planets just after sunset around mid August. Mercury, Venus and Jupiter will be low in the western sky, while Mars and Saturn will be fairly high in the sky. Venus will be very bright and forms a nice triangle with Mercury and Jupiter. Watch them over a few nights as they slowly change position.
  • M16 the Eagle Nebula. It is famous mainly from a Hubble image known as the "pillars of creation". You can see the pillars of gas in the middle of the image. I find just a wonderful part of the sky and really nice nebula. I imaged this in July.
  • The image of Saturn proved popular, so here is a 'test image' ,using video stacking techniques, of the planet Jupiter. August will be a good month for the planets, as Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn will all be visible during the month of August in the evening sky!
  • M17 is a wonderful star forming nebula. I imaged this a couple of weeks ago but decided to share it. It is sometimes called the swan or omega nebula. You can see some darker thicker clouds of gas that still have stars forming deep within them.
  • A wonderful galaxy, NGC 6744. This galaxy is about 30 million light years away. What makes it special is that it is most likely what our own galaxy, the Milky Way looks like. It would be much more famous except that it is really only viewable from the Southern Hemisphere.
  • The Moon and Jupiter appeared next to each other as seen from Earth on the evening of the 9th of July.

Bathurst Observatory Research Facility

Bathurst NSW Australia

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Bathurst Observatory Research Facility is an observatory site primarily for education, research and study, though we do offer general public viewing nights.


Open Nights Star Tours.

Open Nights Star Tours

Bookings essential for all tours.

(All tours subject to weather)


Night Tours for August 2017 will be at 7:30 pm

Tours are generally on Friday and Saturday Nights, please see below for days and dates scheduled.

 Scheduled Tour dates:-

 August 2017 Tour Dates

Saturday the 12th

Friday the 18th and Saturday the 19th

Friday the 25th and Saturday the 26th

Bookings essential.

Please note that the main telescope is pretty big and requires use of a small stepladder for viewing. Please advise if you would have difficulties with steps and we can set up a different telescope.

 There are no tours for the week near Full Moon. The moon is too bright to see the stars.

In addition to normal tours, midweek tours can be arranged (except Sundays) for groups of 10 or more.
* There may be some mid week research nights where tours are not available.

Tours Prices

Costs :

Adults $15 per person

Children/Concession $10.00 per person

(Note: we have NO credit card facilities)

Tour bookings and enquires, phone (6337 3988), or email us. (Email is by far the best way to get us, if you don't get a reply it means you have us blocked!!! Please change your settings!).

How to find us? See Location!



Why "Open Nights"?

Bathurst Observatory in eveningWe used to do tours in the observatory dome. However, we found that the dome itself blocked out most of the night sky! Our visitors wanted to view through a telescope but be able to see and hear about the wonders of the night sky at the same time. We particularly had many visitors from urban areas wanting to see a nice dark country sky full of stars. The solution, set up the public telescope as nature wanted us to, on cleared ground next to the observatory, under the wonder of the Southern stars.

Our tours are conducted with the only guide with over fifteen years educational astronomy experience and with Bachelor of Education Honours Degree! Our guide is also an internationally recognised expert in the field of meteorites.

Tours require bookings and are weather dependent. (We can't see stars through clouds!) Tour duration is about 1 hour, depending on time of year.

We cater for all school astronomy and space excursions, as well as general public telescope tours of the night sky. Primarily we offer our open night tours to inspire everyone to look to the night sky.

The Milky Way stretches overhead in this view taken at the Bathurst Observatory Research Facility - 6th July 2013The Milky Way stretches overhead in this view taken at the Bathurst Observatory Research Facility.
The Bathurst Observatory Research Facility (Research and Meteorite Related Enquires and Public Viewing Nights)

The Bathurst Observatory Research Facility, located on the current site on Limekilns Road north east of Bathurst. At the research site, we study, comets, asteroids, variable stars, meteors and meteorites. For research related enquires phone (02) 6337 3988.

We also welcome any enquires or questions you may have on Astronomy, Space or meteorite related matters.

Our facebook page is regularly updated, so have a look for the latest news and images from the observatory.


Other Tours

Meteorite and Mineral Display

Solar Telescope Tours (Viewing the Sun)

On occasions, we are able to offer daytime telescope views of the sun. We have a special telescope that allows you to SAFELY view the sun. At present the availability of these tours will depend on three factors.

  1. that I'm available on the day.
  2. it is not cloudy.
  3. that the sun has some active features.

The third point is important, as sometimes the sun can be quiet and not as interesting to see.

These tours will be about 15 minutes in duration and by gold coin donation. Bookings for a solar tour would be essential.


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    Bathurst Observatory Research Facility

    (Open Night Tours, Research and Meteorite related enquires)
    624 Rossmore Park, Limekilns Rd, KELSO NSW 2795. Australia
    Phone: 02 6337 3988 | International: +61 2 6337 3988
    Email Enquires:


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