Tours at the Perth Observatory

Tour Dates | Star Viewing Nights | Guided Day Tours | General Information | Prices

Star viewing tours have been operating at the Observatory since the late 1980s.

The tours began as a way to further promote the Observatory's functions and provide some much-needed revenue. Over the years, a dedicated band of volunteers has worked closely with staff to help co-ordinate and run the tours.

Today, the tours are an integral part of the Observatory's outreach and education program.

Tour Dates

To make a tour booking, please phone the Observatory on (08) 9293 8255, Monday to Friday, between 8.30am and 3.30pm. Our tours are very popular so please book now to avoid disappointment!

Tour dates for the 2014/2015 season:

MONTHS
DAY TOUR DATES
NIGHT TOUR DATES
July 2014 1-3, 8, 10, 15, 17, 22-25, 28-31  
August 2014 1, 4-8, 11-15, 19-22, 25-29  
September 2014 1-5, 8-12, 16-19, 22-25 27 (Dark Sky): 7.00pm
28, 30 (Moonlit): 7.00pm
MONTHS
DAY TOUR DATES
NIGHT TOUR DATES
October 2014 7, 9, 14-16, 21-23, 28-30 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 31 (Moonlit): 7.30pm
11, 17, 18, 24, 25
(Dark Sky): 7.30pm

November 2014

4-6, 10-13, 18-20, 25-27 1, 28, 29 (Moonlit): 8.00pm
7 (Full Moon): 8.00pm
14, 15, 21, 22 (Dark Sky): 8.00pm
December 2014 2-5, 9-11 6 (Full Moon): 8.30pm
12, 13, 19, 20
(Dark Sky): 8.30pm
MONTHS
DAY TOUR DATES
NIGHT TOUR DATES
January 2015 13, 15, 20, 22 5 (Full Moon): 8.30pm
9, 10, 11, 16, 17
(Dark Sky): 8.30pm
23-25, 27-31
(Moonlit):8.30pm
February 2015 10-12, 17-19, 24-25 13, 14, 20, 21 (Dark Sky): 8.00pm
26, 27, 28 (Moonlit): 8.00pm
March 2015 3-5, 9-12, 17-19, 24-26, 31 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22 (Dark Sky): 7.30pm
1, 27, 28, 29 (Moonlit): 7.30pm
6 (Full Moon): 7.30pm
MONTHS
DAY TOUR DATES
NIGHT TOUR DATES
April 2015 1, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21-23, 29-30 4 (Full Moon): 7.00pm
10, 11, 17, 18 (Dark Sky): 7.00pm
24, 25, 26 (Moonlit): 7.00pm
May 2015 1, 4-8, 11-15, 19-22, 25-29  
June 2015 2-5, 8-12, 16-19, 22-26, 29-30  

 

Star Viewing Nights

There are three types of star viewing sessions:

Moonlit Nights

The moon is one of the observing targets. The best detail of the lunar surface is seen around half-moon phase. Star clusters and brighter nebulae will also be visible.

Dark Sky Nights

Dark sky night sessions are held when there is no moon. The fainter objects such as globular clusters and nebulae show up well against the darker background of a moonless sky.

Full Moon Nights

As an experiment this season, the Observatory will offer several special viewing sessions, scheduled when the Full Moon occurs on a weekend or in a school holiday period. Our natural satellite is the principal target in these sessions: it’s the 5th largest moon in the solar system, and the only place in space that earthlings have visited.

Guided Day Tours

Guided day tours cater primarily for groups such as schools and service clubs. The minimum group size is 10 people. Occasionally, other visitors can be included with such a group.

During a day tour, participants will take an extensive tour of the Observatory grounds and installations, see modern and historic telescopes, and learn about the history of astronomy in Perth. A browse of the halls and display area will show superb astrophotographs and astronomical paintings, meteorites, and historic instruments. A pictorial history or celestial sky show in the lecture theatre is included in the tour.

At the conclusion, participants can browse the gift shop to purchase astronomy books, posters, planispheres, almanacs, puzzles and postcards.

General Information

person looking through a telescope

The star viewing nights are very popular so please book ahead to avoid disappointment.

Bookings & Payment

Bookings can be made by phoning (08) 9293 8255 between 8.30am and 3.30pm, Monday to Friday.

The Observatory requires payment for bookings within five working days of the booking being made. Most people choose to pay by credit card (Visa or Mastercard) over the phone at the time of booking. We also accept payment by cheque, money order, or by cash or EFTPOS in person at the front office. We regret that we are unable to hold or reserve your booking if we do not receive payment within five working days of you making your booking.

Weather conditions

Our star viewing nights are mainly outdoors, so please dress accordingly.

Star viewing nights proceed as scheduled, even if the sky is cloudy. In this event, an alternative program will run. Visitors who attend on such a night will be given the opportunity to attend another evening viewing at half price, and to come only if the sky is clear.

Disabled Access

Disabled access is available to some areas of the Observatory only. The main administration building, housing the display room and lecture room, can be accessed by a wheelchair ramp at the rear of the building. In the visitors' observing area, a small telescope can be set up on a pantograph mount for visitors using wheelchairs. Please note: this setup is suitable for only one or two people at a time and upper-body mobility is needed.

Please tell staff about your special needs when you call to make your booking.

Behaviour

Smoking is prohibited in the Observatory grounds. Visitors are requred to take any litter with them as they leave (this is a requirement of the Department of Environment and Conservation).

To minimise inconvenience, especially on the evening sessions, please aim to arrive 15 minutes early.

Prices

The Observatory's prices incurred an increase on 1 July 2013:

PRICE INCREASE - Effective 1 July 2013
TOURS Day Tours Night Tours
Adult $15.00 $38.00
Child/Concession $11.00 $28.00
Whole Night Session Booking $1344.00
Talks/Presentations (price per hour) $120.00 per hour
Star Adoption Program $300.00

 

 

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