World Record Stargazing Broken Hill 21 August 2015

Blog Category: 
Broken Hill Space Matters

Science week in 2015 in the Far West Science Hub - the very, very western part of New South Wales, Australia - will celebrate observing the sky.

Outback Astronomy and other sponsors in the stargazing world are supporting a special event being organised nationally by Mt Stromlo Observatory and the Australian National University. It's a World Record Stargazing attempt!

So often nowadays, stargazing for knowledge purposes does not get astronomers remotely close to the sky - they generally now stare at computer screens and look at, alas, data! Lots of data!

Here's a chance for astronomers - professionals and amateurs and all the rest of us - to simply gaze and enjoy the real sky. From our vantage point in Broken Hill we expect to have lovely clear dark skies.

The viewing evening, 21st August, is between the New Moon and First Quarter Moon so this will be perfect viewing, in the intermediate conditions of not too dark and not too bright!

Every participant will require a telescope - a suitable instrument has been arranged by Mt Stromlo Observatory. These will be delivered to Broken Hill before the event and purchased for a small fee via our website and other locations to be advised.

The organisers are planning to set two Guinness Book of World Records:

(a) Most people stargazing at a single site (this will be the Mt Stromlo area), and
(b) Most people stargazing at multiple sites in the country (this is where Broken Hill, NSW comes in - we hope to be one of more than 40 sites across Australia).

The record is currently with Mexico which managed 2,753 people stargazing at 40 sites. Surely we can be successful!

Please spread the word about this collaborative event to be held at the Broken Hill Race Course Friday 21 August 2015. If you cannot be in Broken Hill and know where you will be on this evening, be sure to pre-register your interest and get your telescope early! Check out the Mt Stromlo Facebook page for details of other areas.

More details to come soon for the Broken Hill event.

Image credit:  Mt Stromlo Observatory/Australian National University World Record Stargazing flyer for the event.