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FAQ'S

What can I expect to see during my Outback Astronomy experience?

Your feet may be firmly planted on Earth but we'll set fire to your imagination and in no time at all, you'll be travelling off into space on your virtual galactic tour.

Tour narration is provided by a knowledgeable sky guide in real time. You'll have ear phones connected to your personal audio. You may opt not to use the audio system, but you may miss the commentary. You'll be in the great outdoors.

Outback Astronomy has a new location with structures and permanent facilities in place! So whilst the sky shows will be held outdoors, there will be an indoors area for warmth and drinks.

With your naked eyes you will soak up the vastness of the Outback skies. You will gain a sense of the scale of our home Galaxy. We will highlight amazing celestial objects using a bright light pointer. Using powerful binoculars if you wish, you can focus in on these spectacular objects, including nebulae, star clusters and other galaxies. In some sky shows we may use a telescope. Soon, telescopes will become a permanent feature of our sky shows.

All guests will have a chair for use at sky shows. We generally use a reclined camping lounge although you can request an upright "director's" chair. We ask that you don't move about in the dark!

Our standard naked eye sky shows last 60 minutes and telescope shows 90 minutes. There is a requirement to attend the viewing site 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of your sky show. It's also a good time to grab a tea or coffee, included in your sky show price. We try to encourage everyone to be on time as latecomers' car headlights can be distracting once we power down the lights.

NB Late arrivals will not be possible at our new location as the building entrance will be locked 10 minutes prior to the start of the scheduled sky show time.

Testimonials

Guests are invited to provide testimonials about their sky show experiences.

No matter what sky show theme or which evening you attend, the one thing in common that our guests seem to take away with them is a new sense of understanding, respect and awe for our position in the universe as well as the fragility and very special nature of human life in the cosmos.

Your Outback Astronomy hosts expect you may feel humbled by this special night sky experience.

Please tell us what you think here.

Where is the Outback Astronomy viewing site?

Outback Astronomy is located at 18817 Barrier Highway, Broken Hill

  • Outback Astronomy is located just 5.5km from the city, on the Sydney road.
  • It takes just 8 minutes to drive from the Broken Hill Post Office to Outback Astronomy.
  • From the Broken Hill Post Office, proceed to drive out of the city along Argent Street in a north-easterly direction.
  • It’s 2.5 km to the edge of the city. At this point, Argent St is known as the Barrier Highway, or A32.
  • Continue driving along A32 for a further 5.5km. Outback Astronomy is on the right.

What if there is a full moon?

A full moon has a magnificent glow when seen in the big skies of Outback Australia.

We will celebrate the moon and highlight its importance and showcase the moon’s dazzling companions.

Occasionally we feature the Moon in special shows when viewing is appropriate.

These are scheduled as appropriate during the lunar cycle.

Please feel welcome to request a special moon viewing event for your group at any time that suits. Please call us on +61 427 055 225 or 0427 055 225 between 11am and 5pm (Central Time in Australia) for assistance or further information.

Check out our online shop for moon maps. Purchases can be collected at your sky show. Special discounts for these apply to guests attending the Moon Feature sky shows.

What if it is cloudy or stormy?

This is why we ask for your mobile phone contact number. You will be contacted by us with either a text or voice call in the event of changes to the program due to poor weather.

Our experience suggests that a cloudy day does not necessarily translate into a cloudy night! Unless weather radar maps show extensive, stubborn cloud cover, we find it best to assume the Sky Shows will proceed.

However, there are occasions when clouds hang about and don't clear off before the scheduled start time. Subject to discussion with all guests who booked and paid in advance, we can move the start time to a slightly later time, ensuring clouds have moved on. If you are unable to accommodate this change (for example a delay of an hour or so) you may elect to receive a full refund. At other times we extend the duration of the sky show to accommodate time lost due to passing bands of cloud. Though this is an unusual situation as in Broken Hill, it tends to be definitely clear or cloudy, rather than an unpredictable mix.

Flexibility during your stay in Broken Hill

We may also be able to easily move your sky show from one evening to another. It's a good idea to let us know at the time of your booking (use the comments area in the online booking section) if you have flexibility to attend sky shows on different evenings.

Whilst the sky show themes may change, at least your sky show experience won't be missed! We've also, in the past, provided 'hybrid' sky shows based on different themes when adjusting schedules to suit our guests. If your sky show must be moved to the following evening and the sky show theme has changed, then let us know at the time of rescheduling and we'll include highlights and key content of the earlier sky show to suit.

Is the viewing site accessible after rain?

Mostly! Heavy rain during the day may cause us to cancel but this is a rare event in Broken Hill. It is likely to be dry most days and nights in Broken Hill.

I can’t get a babysitter. Can I bring the kids?

Our children are our future! One of them may reveal the mysteries of dark energy or dark matter. With this in mind, older children generally will enjoy the sky shows. Younger children, generally 12 years and under, may become bored or sleepy. You, as a knowing parent, are the best judge! Your children are welcome if you think they will enjoy the hour-long shows.

We welcome any enquiries about hosting shows to suit your needs. Please contact us on ph 0427 055 225 between 11am and 5pm.

 

Are there special prices for children?

Please enquire with us about sky shows and pricing that is suitable for children.

As a general rule, children aged 5 years to 12 years probably should attend a sky show designed especially for them.

However, if you know the child and believe they will enjoy a sky show for 60 minutes, please feel welcome to attend. We have two layers of pricing for children who attend scheduled naked eye sky shows:

6-12 years - $30

13-17 years - $35

Note that when lower prices are offered equipment restrictions may also be imposed.

Special prices for children are not available online. We request you make your booking by email (info@outbackastronomy.com.au) or phone (0427 055 225) and make a credit card or cash payment on the evening of your sky show.

Children must be supervised by accompanying adults at all times.

By request we can host special Children's Night sky shows eg school groups. These suit 5 to 12 year olds and run for 30 minutes. The price is the same for each person who attends, including supervising adults, at $25.  Some equipment restrictions may be imposed. Minimum numbers may be required. Please enquire with us.

Sky shows can be arranges for older students. Please enquire to discuss themes and prices.

 

Are there discounts for anyone else?

Please contact Outback Astronomy between 11am and 5pm to discuss ideas and options. We may be able to come to some special arrangements to suit groups.

We have a special Children's Night Sky Show at a reduced price to cater for growing demand for shows for children aged 5 to 12 years. This show came about due to somebody making a call. Thank you for any enquiries you may have for us!

What if I can’t be at the venue on time?

With our new viewing location at 18817 Barrier Highway we welcome attendance at this site 30 minutes before the sky show start time. Turning up early helps us to kit you up with your audio system. You can also browse around our new indoors area.

It is part of the terms and conditions of sale that you arrive at the venue well before the scheduled start of the show.

The front doors will be locked 10 minutes before the scheduled start of the sky show. Regrettably, latecomers may miss out on their sky show.

If we are notified of any brief delays in advance, we will endeavour to seek the permission of other persons attending the sky show to allow you extra time to arrive. Text or phone us on 0427 055 225 no later than 30 minutes before the start of your sky show so that we can watch out for you!

 

How accessible is the site?

It's just a 10 minute drive from most parts of Broken Hill. We also offer a transport service for guests, currently limited to small numbers.

Our site can be accessed with walking aids and wheelchairs.

The majority of sky show visitors will enter from the front door. There are two or three steps at the front entrance to the building. It can be easily accessed by a variety of walking aids.

Wheelchair access is possible via a different entrance with prior notice.

Parking for guests is at the front of the building at our new site. It is just a short distance to the front of the building.