Where We Observe From
Heathcote North, Victoria, Australia.
Heathcote is a town approximately 110 km North of Melbourne. It is a smallish town of only a few thousand population situated on the Northern Highway, past the Dividing Range. The Astronomical Society of Victoria has a 40 acre property about 12 km north of Heathcote in a sparsely populated area. The side is named the Leon Mow Dark Sky Site or LMDSS. The site is equipped with a 27 inch reflecting telescope and a large clear area capable of holding a moderate sized Star Party (200 to 300 people). The site suffers from little light pollution in the west, the only real source being from Bendigo, a town about 35 km away. The Limiting Magnitude reaches +6.5 from here. The Meteor Section frequently uses this site. We have used the site since 1990 and it has seen many hours of observing.
Mt Cannibal - Garfield North, Victoria
This site is 90 km east of Melbourne just off the Princes Hwy in Garfield North. It is on top of a small hilltop about 300m high which does not suffer from the problems of low-lying fogs, which can affect the South-Eastern region of Victoria, particularly over winter. The site has excellent views of the north, south and west. The site is however difficult to access as it requires you to walk up a steep(!) track in the night. This site has improved the fitness of many meteor observers.
Lookout Tower, Koo-Wee-Rup, Victoria, Australia.
The Lookout Tower is located 70 km South-East of Melbourne. The observing site itself is in the grounds of a wetlands lookout and is a small cleared area near a small estuary. The site enjoys skies in the +6.5 Limiting Magnitude range in the south, west and east but the north is poor due to Melbourne. It’s only about 15 mins to 30 mins from our sections main observers but suffers from the “Hoon” factor due to easy access.
The Briars, Mt Martha, Victoria, Australia.
The Briars is a historical park situated on the Mornington Peninsula about 50 km from Melbourne near Port Philip Bay. There are many activities there including a restaurant, historical homestead and barbecue areas. There is an observing site, which is rented by the Astronomical Society of Frankston (ASF), at the highest part of the area. It is a good site for its relative location to Melbourne and Suburban areas. The Limiting Magnitude reaches around +6.2 so it is certainly good for meteor observing, however the South-Western sky does suffer with light pollution from the Melbourne and the BHP Steel factory. The ASF run observing nights on weekend on and around the new moon. Observing activities are wide ranging, including meteor observing. Many nights of observing have been done from this site and it has proven a very popular meeting site.
Woolrich Lookout, Monbulk.
Victoria. Situated behind the Dandenongs, it has impressive views of the north, south and east. Located about 40 km east of Melbourne, it suffers from the “hoon” factor due to its easy accessibility and nearness to the city.
Adam Marsh’s House. Situated about 250 kms north of Melbourne on 2.5 acres. This site offers pristine skies with a very high percentage of clear nights in summer and winter. Limiting magnitudes ranging from +6.5 to +6.9