Night Sky Discovery Sessions 2020 - Macquarie Astronomical Observatory
Discover the wonders of the night sky!
The Association for Astronomy (in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at MQ) invites you to observe the cosmos with your own eyes at the Macquarie University Astronomical Observatory. View planets, moons, binary stars, star clusters and nebulae through our professionally maintained in-dome and portable telescopes. You will be guided by our experienced, passionate and knowledgeable astronomy staff... bring all your astronomy and astrophotography questions with you! To learn more about the Department, the Association or the Observatory jump to
All are welcome, but minumum sales are required for a session to proceed and capacity is limited to 40 people - we recommend booking early. A dark sky is needed for the best viewing experience, which means that we typically start the sessions about 30 minutes after sunset. Please check session times carefully before booking as they change throughout the year due to shifting sunset and daylight saving. Sessions run for 90 minutes, all year round.
A calendar of 2020 sessions start times can be found in the
The Astronomical Observatory is located on Macquarie University campus across from the Sport & Aquatic Centre (
Attending the observatory is weather dependent: unfortunately we cannot see the stars if it is cloudy or raining. A decision will be made by 5pm on the day of each session as to whether that evening's observing session will go ahead or be cancelled. In either case an announcement will be posted to our
Please note that if we have less than 10 people booked in for any one session, the session will be cancelled and ticket holders will be issued with a 100% refund. If this is the case, ticket holders will be contacted via email by 5pm on the day of the event.
Tickets are available for Adults, Children (5 to 16 years), and Concession holders. Children under 5 years are able to enter for free but please grab a Free ticket for them so we know how many are coming with your group. Small groups of 2 adults and 2 children (5 to 16 years) will make a small saving over the normal single ticket price when purchasing a Small Group ticket. Concession is available to students, pensioners, apprentices, seniors, Commonwealth benefit recipients, veterans and asylum seekers - all Concession ticket holders must be prepared to present their eligibility card or other similar evidence when arriving at the session.
Welcome to the Observatory
The Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Association for Astronomy acknowledge the traditional owners of the land upon which the Macquarie Observatory stands, the Wattamattagal people of the Darug nation. We acknowledge Elders past, present and emerging.
Aboriginal people have applied their knowledge of the stars to live on this Country for over 60,000 years. We take inspiration from the Aboriginal astronomy, the spiritual and cultural connection to the constellations in the night sky.
Our work at the Macquarie Observatory will reflect our commitment to Baduwa, Manawari and Djurali. We seek to make the Observatory a place of welcome for all people who have come here across the land or across the water.
Film and Video Disclaimer: please note that photographs and footage may be taken throughout this session. These will be used by the University for marketing and publicity in our publications, on our website and in social media or in any third party publication. Please contact the session Guide at the commencement of the session if you have any concerns or if you wish to be exempted from this activity.
Image Credit: Joanne Stephan 2019 (MQ)