What is StarFest?

StarFest is the weekend extravaganza of events hosted by Siding Spring Observatory during Festival of the Stars. For more information on the full month of events go to the Festival of the Stars website.

StarFest includes the popular Bok Lecture, the exciting Science in the Pub and the full array of Open Day activities that occur on top of Siding Spring Observatory. This year introduces a special evening event at Milroy Observatory with special guest speakers Prof Brian Schmidt (Nobel prize laureate) and Dr David Malin (world famous astrophotographer). Come and enjoy an evening of wine, canapes and star viewings.

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festival of the stars

Happy Birthday SSO

Siding Spring Observatory (SSO) celebrates not one, but four significant anniversaries in 2014. In 1964 SSO was established with the opening of the ANU 40 inch Telescope marking its 50th anniversary, the Anglo-Australian Telescope, Australia’s largest optical telescope will celebrate its 40th anniversary, the ANU 2.3m Advance Technology Telescope will celebrate its 30th anniversary and Faulkes 2m Telescope will celebrate its 10th Anniversary.

Taking its first images 12 February 1964, the ANU 40inch Telescope was the first telescope constructed at Siding Spring Observatory. The telescope was designed for photography and became renowned for its research into the structure of the Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds.

Ten years and eight months later, 16 October 1974 HRH Prince Charles and the then Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam officially opened the 3.9-m Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT). Operated by the Australian Astronomical Observatory as part of the Department of Industry of the Federal government, the AAT continues to provide one of the most productive, world-class optical and infrared observing facilities.

In 1984, Prime Minister Bob Hawke officially opened the Australian National University’s 2.3 metre Advanced Technology Telescope (ATT). Operated by the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, the 2.3 ATT has played a pivotal role in probing the cosmos to answer questions about Dark Matter and the evolution of the Universe, and continues to play a significant role in astrophysical research.

In 2004, Faulkes Telescope South saw first light. The Faulkes Telescope South is a 2m (79 in) Ritchie-Chretien telescope designed to be operated remotely with the aim of encouraging an interest in science by young people. The telescope is owned and operated by LCOGT which is founded and funded by Wayne Rosing.

To mark these significant anniversaries, the SSO astronomical institutions join under the banner of StarFest for a very special long weekend in October.

Milroy Observatory – Celebrate 50 years of SSO

Please note: this is an evening for adults (no under 18 year olds)
Come to Milroy Observatory and celebrate the opening of the newly refurbished 40” Telescope from the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Siding Spring Observatory. Witness the start of a new career for the beloved 40” Telescope and celebrate the 50 year history of astronomy at Siding Spring since first light on the 40” Telescope in 1964.
This special event will be celebrated on Saturday the 4th October from 6pm at Milroy Observatory which is located 10km out on the Baradine road. Dress for the evening will be black tie.

Prof Brian Schmidt

Prof Brian Schmidt

Tickets are $110 per person and the ticket price includes:

*Bus travel to and from the venue
*Sunset over the Observatory hilltop with a glass of champagne
*Starry night presentation by Dr David Malin, Prof Fred Watson and Prof Brian Schmidt
*A tour of the 40” telescope
*Official opening ceremony by Prof Brian Schmidt (nobel prize laureate)
*Sumptuous Canapé dinner including drinks at Milroy house
*A night of telescope viewing with the 40” and other great telescopes guided by guest astronomers from Sutherland Astronomical Society

Please arrive at the Coonabarabran Visitor Information Centre on John Street Coonabarabran at 5.15pm for a 5.30 departure to Milroy.
Buses are scheduled to return guests by 11pm to the Coonabarabran Visitor Centre.

Purchase your tickets NOW from Sticky Tickets using the link below.
Milroy Observatory OpeningBuy Tickets