Astronomy in Port Macquarie today

Since WJ Macdonnell’s time, astronomy has remained a popular activity for Port Macquarie residents. In 1961–62 the Port Macquarie Observatory, located in Rotary Park near Town Beach, was built by the local Rotary Club. It is home to the Port Macquarie Astronomical Association.

  Zoom A visitor views the night sky through the telescope, 2010 Port Macquarie Observatory was designed by Albert York, a local retired master builder and architect, to house a 5-inch telescope gifted by a local publican for the purpose of viewing ships at sea. It was officially opened in 1965 by Government Astronomer Harley Wood, director of the Sydney Observatory. Today the association’s members meet regularly to make observations and host viewing nights for the public. Here are some photographs of astronomical events taken by members.

  Zoom Halley’s comet, 12 April 1986   Zoom The transit of Venus, 8 June 2004   Zoom The transit of Venus, 8 June 2004   Zoom Comet McNaught, 2007   Zoom A 12-minute exposure of the Great Nebula in Orion, approximately 1500 light years away   Zoom A lunar eclipse, 28 August 2007   Zoom The moon, nine days into its monthly cycle, showing Tycho Crater   Zoom Rodney Neasbey shows visitors different features of the solar system, 2010   Zoom Jim Daniel talks to visitors about the observatory’s telescope, 2010