Public Night Booking Portal
MPAS has over a 50 year history of introducing schools, community groups, tourists and the public to the wonders of the Universe and the night sky.
Held on at least the FIRST FRIDAY of each month at the MPAS Mount Martha Observatory (map on left sidebar), commencing at 8:00PM, these popular events are a great chance to view the Moon, planets like Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, interesting stars and clusters as well as bright satellite and Space Station passes, all with a wide array of telescopes supplied by our members.
We also show a variety of multimedia presentations to spark your interest and happily answer any questions you might have about the Universe! Free light refreshments are supplied as well.
COVID-SAFE PUBLIC STARGAZING
Terms & Conditions of entry
MPAS are committed to providing a safe environment for everyone. Our COVID Safe-Plan is in place, and there are rules which are mandatory for all visitors to the MPAS site.
1) BOOKING. Group size is strictly limited, and pre-booking is required. If you have not pre-booked you may be asked to leave.
2) SICK. If slightly unwell or with cold/flu symptoms DO NOT enter the site any further. Go home.
3) CHECK-IN. All attendees must check-in using the MPAS QR code upon arrival, to assist with contact tracing.
4) CLEANLINESS. All surfaces and equipment are cleaned and sanitised before the event. Wash hands often, hand sanitiser provided.
5) DISTANCING. Min 1.5 metres between people anywhere on-site. 1 person per 2 sq. metres indoors. Indoor spaces have clear signs with maximum occupancy numbers and markings on the floor to assist with physical distancing.
6) TELESCOPES. Shared telescopes are made COVID-safe with single-use plastic wrapping for eyepieces or by using video projection.
7) MASKS. Masks are to be worn indoors, and where it’s difficult to maintain 1.5m distance, according to government requirements at the time.
There will be COVID Marshals onsite to ensure the rules are followed.
If you have any questions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the format of the Stargazing evenings?
In the majority of cases, the presentation is held first, followed by the telescopes. In the Summer months, it's still daylight when we start so it has to be this way. In the Winter, viewing can also be done before the presentation: if a large number attend we can also split into two groups; one viewing while the other sees the show, then swapping over.
Can I bring my kids?
Absolutely! Even the littlies get a thrill from looking through a telescope. The presentations are aimed at a general audience but seem to keep the attention of most children with animation, sound and video. Just remember to keep an eye on them around expensive equipment. All Children must be accompanied by a parent / guardian.
What if it's cancelled?
We never cancel a Stargazing Evening. Sounds strange, but it's easier for us to attend and at least do the presentation than try to decide if we should cancel, then attempt to contact everyone. If it's pouring rain you can still come along for the show, and then come along for free midway at the next public night.
Do I need my own telescope?
No. Our members will show you the night sky and will operate our large telescopes during the evening. If you wish, while stocks last, you may purchase a small refractor telescope as used in the ANU/ABC Guinness World Record attempt across Australia previously. These are suitable for the Moon and simple to use for beginners.
Can I buy anything else on the night?
Yes. We have a range of other merchandise available on the night for purchase. These may vary from month to month and can include meteorites, hand-warmer sachets, glow sticks, beanies, jigsaw puzzles, small red light torches, special almanacs and sky charts of what is the night sky for the year and other things. While tea, coffee, cordial and biscuits are free all evening, we do also have cans of cold drink and bottled water available for sale.
Items for sale may also simply be pre-purchased online beforehand with the booking, and then collected on the night.