THE Tamworth Regional Astronomy Club may still be in its infancy, but it can now lay claim to two of the largest privately owned telescopes in Australia and is keen to share the news with budding astronomers at an event this weekend.
Club publicity officer Phil Betts said the group had received strong community support since incorporating earlier this year.
“We now have a 91cm Dodsonian telescope and we utilise Lindsay Lowe’s 81cm observatory near Bendemeer,” Mr Betts said.
He said the next step for the club was to establish a permanent base to promote astronomy and the related sciences to local schools, regional communities and visitors to the region.
A concept plan is in the works for the development of a headquarters building at Victoria Park, next to the miniature railway.
The club has been working with the Department of Education and has been successful in helping to bring former Tamworth High School student, NASA research scientist and assistant professor in the physics and astronomy department at San Francisco State University, Stephen Kane, to Tamworth to speak to senior school students in July. Tomorrow, people interested in astronomy are invited to track the stars with members at Tamworth Regional Botanic Gardens from 5.30pm.
Beginner and amateur stargazers, and those just interested in astronomy, are welcome to bring along their own observing equipment, and some food for a
barbecue, for a presentation on observing basics, discussions and practical sessions to learn how to get the most out of observation equipment.
“It doesn’t have to be a telescope. Binoculars are fine and we have had a lot of interest from people with cameras,” Mr Betts said.