by R Ray Pickard
The Bathurst Observatory Research Facility has recently moved location. We are in the process of building the Meteorite Museum shed. The Meteorite Museum will provide a space to display our meteorite, public education and video conferences into schools.
Bathurst Observatory Research Facility, Australia, has one of the only public displays of meteorites in NSW west of Sydney in our Meteorite Museum. We have over 200 specimens to be displayed, ranging from witnessed falls to historical pieces. You will be able to come and see our display of space models, minerals, fossils and meteorites.
Approval for the stage 1 components of the project have been obtained from Bathurst Regional Council.
The funding goal is to reach $45,000 which will cover the cost of concrete slab, the cost of the shed and construction.
Plan of the Meteorite Museum shed.
Museum site pegged and ready to go.
The meteorite museum aligns with the observatory’s work on asteroid, comet and other astronomical research as well as public education and outreach.
We also study meteorites as part of our research goals, and have published a number of papers about meteorites.
We can also offer some services to meteorite collectors and researches wishing to display their specimens.
Some meteorites from the Bathurst Observatory collection
Some of our displays below.
General space image from our observatory
The Observatory is currently privately owned and had operated at its old site on Limekilns Road, Bathurst since July 2000. In 2018, it was decided that the observatory should relocate to a much better site due to housing and other development at our previous site. Light pollution from developments would have rendered the old site impractical for further astronomy. As such, the old site has been sold and we have purchased a new site, further from Bathurst (at Billywillinga), which has much better observing sites, not only for tourism, but for research and professional/amateur astronomers as well. We aim to provide multiple viewing experiences rather than one off options, to encourage multiple visitation.
The observatory is only one of its type in the region and will offer experiences and tour options no similar facility will offer. Its location and night activities will ensure overnight stays within the region or at our guest cottage.
The new observatory still in the construction and planning stage though will operate from late 2019, early 2020. A key goal is planning and ensuring the new site is developed to meet identified needs. This will ensure its adaptability now and into the future. However, current Bathurst Observatory telescopes are now being relocated to the new site, as well as the meteorite research collection and much more!
Some key aspects of the initial timeline;
* Relocation of the public outreach and imaging telescope with the observatory’s iconic dome.
* Set up of the public viewing telescopes and area.
* Construction of the meteorite research building (with displays)
* Availability of sites for setting up your own equipment
* Opening of the guest accommodation and planetarium in stage 2
The Bathurst Observatory’s iconic dome, soon to relocate to the new site. It houses our research and imaging telescope
Future stage 2 items for inclusion will be approval additional cabins and telescope sites as demand increases.
Note the planetarium is a fully modern computerised system and has an advantage in that it is portable and can be taken to schools, community events, as well as serve at the observatory site. It does not require an additional building, though provides an all-weather option for tours.
For more information about Bathurst Observatory Research Facility please visit our website at: https://bathurstobservatory.com.au/
and our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/BathurstObservatory/