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Visiting Koolang Observatory

Over the weekend, I helped a friend of my wife to move house. I ended up driving a three tonne truck about 250km all up.

She's moved to this lovely locality called Bucketty. About an hours drive from where I live on the Central Coast.

The really cool thing about it is that her landlord runs the Koolang Observatory, which is less than a minutes walk from her house. Last night we were the guest of this gentlemanat a night show and the kids came along too.

Koolang Observatory was designed and built with two purposes in mind - to make science, especially astronomy, more accessible to the general public; and to be a resource for those involved in teaching astronomy to children of all ages - K to 12.

We saw some wonderful views of eta-carina, canopis and a globular cluster (whose name currently escapes me) through the 20" Newtonian Reflector. We saw Tempel-1 the night before the impact (which just occurred) on a 10".

What was really outstanding was the timing of things looking at Jupiter. It started that we could only see two moons. While we were looking we had a third come out from behind the giant and a few minutes later a fourth came out of it's shadow.

All up the kids had a great time, as did Lyn and I.

If you're within a few hours of the area, I'd certainly encourage you to book and visit.

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Alan is a kernel and performance engineer based in Australia who tends to have the nasty calls gravitate towards him

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