Night Sky and Telescope Viewing

Join astronomer Peter Starr (Yes, that is his real name) to experience the Night Sky & Wonders of the Universe.

Listen & watch a 30 minute informative Astronomy & Night Sky Presentation under the stars (indoors if it is raining).

Stargazing where we point out the stars & constellations with a laser.

View the stars, planets*, and deep space objects through telescopes.

There will be between 2 and 9 telescopes to view through depending on the number of people booked (6 people per telescope on average).

Ask questions about the night sky and the universe.

If you bring a compatible DSLR camera, we can take an image of a colourful nebula or the Moon through the telescope.

Or you can purchase an SD card from us and use our camera and get 2 photos.

*What is visible varies through the night and time of year. There is a list of what we plan to see if you scroll to the bottom of the page. Note there are no planets visible until September.

What we see also depends on how dark the sky is. The darker the sky the more we see. The best nights are when the Moon is not visible during the session, or at least before First Qtr Moon. Galaxies and nebulae are not visible around Full Moon.

How much we see depends on the amount of cloud cover. The clearer the sky, the more objects we see. Check the weather forecast before you book.

Available on most nights 90 minutes after sunset. Show lasts for a minimum of 1 hour.

The show is outdoors, please dress to the weather conditions.

You need to be able to stand at least briefly to view through the telescopes.

Group size is 1 to 50 people.

Children under 5 years are not permitted to attend the observatory. If you bring a child under 5, you wont be permitted entry and there is no refund.

You wont be permitted entry if you arrive late. Once the session has started, you will be unable to reach us by phone or text as we will be busy entertaining the group. There are no refunds if you miss the session. Please plan your travel and dinner accordingly and arrive early. Plan to arrive 15 minutes before start time.

Bookings:

50 tickets are available per session.

Children 5 to 16 yrs must be accompanied by a paying parent or guardian.

Children under 5 yrs are not permitted.

We recommend you book on or close to the day when you know you can definitely come and know what the weather is doing. In school holidays & long weekends the shows can sell out so best to book a bit further in advance.

Tickets are sold by the IWANNATICKET ticketing agency.

Any unsold tickets are sold at the door 15 mins before start time at $5 extra per ticket.

If you are using a credit from a previously cancelled session, please call Peter at the Observatory on 0488 425 940 to book a ticket.

Cloudy & Rainy Nights:

If it is overcast or raining at start time of the show there are 2 options;

Option A: We issue you a credit to a future session of the same value within the next 3 years. This is non-refundable in the future. This is transferable to other people if you cannot attend in the future. If the session you are moving to is in the same month we issue a credit note which you use to buy another ticket with the ticketing agency. Otherwise we will send you an email with a code with instructions how to book a future ticket directly with the observatory.

Option B: Continue with the session doing an extended presentation instead. If we cannot show you anything through a telescope by the end of the session due to cloud cover or rain we issue you a 50% refund excluding the booking fee

Prices:

Adults: $33 + booking fee ($1.78)

Child 5 to 16 years: $22 + booking Fee ($1.61)

Public holidays: Adults: $38, Child: $27 + booking fee

Any unsold tickets are sold at the door at 6pm at $5 extra per ticket.

Times & Dates:

We are normally open most nights. Exceptions are Full Moon nights and rainy nights where there are no bookings.

Times & Dates for June https://dubboobservatory.iwannaticket.com.au/event/night-sky-telescope-viewing-june-2024-MzEzODA

Times & Dates for July https://dubboobservatory.iwannaticket.com.au/event/night-sky-telescope-viewing-july-2024-MzEzODY

What to Wear:

We are outdoors so dress to the weather conditions.

In the colder months it can be extremely cold. A beanie, scarf and gloves can really make a difference and or bring a blanket. We dont provide heating outside as it affects the quality of the telescope viewing.

Please wear enclosed shoes. No shoes with flashing lights please as they affect the viewing experience for others.

In the warmer months we can get some mosquitoes at dusk. Please apply insect repellant before you arrive on any uncovered areas.

Cancellation & Rescheduling Policy

We recommend you book on the day when you know you can definitely come and know what the weather is doing.

More than 7 days notice: You have the choice of a refund excluding the ticketing fee or a credit to a future session of the same value.

If less than 7 days notice is given, a credit or refund is only given if we can resell your ticket.

To cancel, please email [email protected]. Do not email the booking agency (iwannaticket) as it may take a few business days for them to respond and will be too late to cancel.

Cancellation by the Observatory:

If we cancel the show a refund is issued back to your card.

Astrophotography Camera Requirements:

If you bring a Canon, Nikon, Pentax DSLR Camera that has a removeable lens, we can take a photo of a colourful nebula on moonless nights if it is a clear night. On bright Moon nights we photograph the Moon.

We can also take Canon or Nikon mirrorless cameras if you have the dslr lens adapter connected. We can also attach Sony mirrorless cameras.

We attach your camera body with our adapter to fix to the telescope.

Alternatively, if you bring a standard size SD card we can use our camera.

We sell standard size SD cards as well. You can have 2 photos taken if you purchase one of our SD cards.

You will need to know your camera settings before you come. e.g. manual setting, ISO, exposure time, live view, live view can be magnified, a photo can be taken with the lens removed. If you don’t know your settings we may not be able to take a photo for you as I do not know all camera models.

The live view must be able to be magnified otherwise the photo taken will be out of focus. Try this before you come as there will be no time to work this out.

Wheelchair Access:

There is wheelchair access to the main building and the outside telescope areas.

There is no wheelchair access to the observatory where the largest telescope is.

You will only be able to view through a telescope if you can briefly stand.

If you are confined to the wheelchair and can’t view through the telescopes, you can use a pair of binoculars we have and we can show you objects to view. This would be a similar view you would see through our smallest telescope.

We have a toilet that is accessible.

What we plan to observe

We show you as many objects as we can through the telescopes. This number will depend on how clear the sky is. If the sky is 100% clear we see all the planned objects. If it is a 50% clear sky we should see 50% of the planned objects. If the list is blank press the download button.

When are the planets visible (First session):

Planets are not visible all of the time. They are visible at certain times of the year and is different every year.

Mercury: July 2024 is best.

Venus: November 2024 to January 2025

Mars: Best in January 2025.

Jupiter: December 2024 to March 2025. Best in December 2023, Best in January 2025

Saturn: October 2024 to January 2025, best in November 2024

When is the Milky Way Visible? (First session):

June to September on moonless nights