Sydney Astrofest 2017 (1 July 2017)
As the last light of the day started to fade keen amateur astronomers and curious families with eager youngsters arrived at the Sydney University Astrofest 2017. An annual event hosted by CAASTRO (ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics), the new Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney provided the perfect backdrop for viewing the ancient skies.
Approximately 2000 visitors spent time at the event enjoying the many activities; visiting the inflatable planetarium where they could go inside and get up close to the stars, listen to astro talks given by members of CAASTRO, and be mesmerised looking through the numerous telescopes scattered around the university grounds.
The Sky-Watcher Australia team took along the biggest telescope of the night – the Stargate 500 GOTO (SWDOB500GT) – perfect for showing Jupiter and Saturn. And the conditions did not disappoint – Jupiter revealed its atmosphere encircled by numerous bends while the 4 Galilean moons were well visible around the planets.
Saturn showed numerous moons plus its amazing rings which are almost fully opened in this period thus revealing maximum details.
Visitors were mesmerised by the high-resolution vision offered by the telescope equipped with 7.5mmm ultra-wide angle eyepiece, with many commenting on the amazingly impressive vision they were seeing.
In astronomy the aperture counts and the Stargate 500 GOTO, having a primary mirror of 508mm in diameter performs exceptionally for all kinds of observations.
The evening was chilly and crisp but it didn’t deter the crowds – the sky was clear and cloudless and made for perfect viewing conditions. The keen and passionate enthusiastics kept on coming and the queue remained long throughout the night.
CAASTRO is the Australian Research Centre for All-sky Astrophysics – a collaboration between the University of Sydney, the University of Western Australia, the Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, Swinburne University, Curtin University and the University of Queensland (2011-2018).
Visit the CAASTRO website; www.caastro.org/