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Archive for the ‘SAS News’ Category

30th Anniversary SAS Polo Shirts

Dylan O'Donnell - May 23, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 3.31.39 PM
The new 30th year SAS polo shirts may be ordered online using the Paypal Deposit button below. Shirts will be $30-$35 total depending on numbers but the $20 deposit will reserve yours and confirm your size requirements.


Mens (S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL, XXXXL) or Womens (10,12,14,16,18.20,22)

Enter Size Below and click BUY NOW

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(2015 Polo Shirt Pictured)

~ World Science Festival being held in Brisbane 9th -13th March 2016 ~

Noeleen Lowndes - February 29, 2016


The World Science Festival is being held from Wednesday the 9th to Sunday the 13th March in Brisbane.

This will be a great opportunity to attend some wonderful presentations on astronomy, space and the world’s latest scientific discoveries, including a presentation on the latest confirmation of Albert Einstein’s 1915 prediction of Gravitational Waves. The website link where you’ll find the full program list of events is at:

There is also a FREE Science Street Party being held at South Bank in the heart of BRISBANE on Saturday the 12th and Sunday the 13th March 2016 from 10am-4pm each day.

Brian Greene

Please see below a YouTube video with Brian Greene explaining what Gravitational Waves are and how they are going to change the way we think about out universe!

Please go to this link if you would like to go to Brian Greene’s presentation at the Science Festival:

SAS Meeting this Saturday night 23rd January 2016 at 7.30pm

Noeleen Lowndes - January 17, 2016


‘Happy New Year’ to everyone and welcome to our club’s 30th anniversary year ~ 1986 – 2016 ~

The Southern Astronomical Society has now moved into new premises at the Gold Coast Space Flight Academy at Pimpama, and will hold our general meetings in the Strawberry Farm rooms that are situated adjacent to the academy.

To find the venue please exit off the M1 motorway at Exit 49 and follow the signs to the Strawberry Farm.

Anybody interested in the science of astronomy and space, and observing the night sky, are most welcomed to attend our meetings.

Please find our monthly meeting dates for 2016 at:

2.SAS Strawberry Farm1.Space Centre3.SAS Members


SAS meeting this Saturday night 28th November 2015

Noeleen Lowndes - November 26, 2015


You are invited to come along to our next general meeting being held this Saturday night from 7.30pm and meet the new owners of Sirius Optics at Underwood, Ashley Ruaux and Cheryl-Ann Tan.

Cheryl-Ann will be giving us a presentation on her latest amazing holiday to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) titled ‘Aurora Chasing in Finland’

After the presentation Ashley and Cheryl-Ann will give us an update on some of the new astronomical products that have now come on the market and answer any question you may have on astronomy equipment.

Sirius Optics website is at:

So come along and have a great evening with members from the Southern Astronomical Society on the Gold Coast…see you all then, Noeleen Lowndes (President)

~ SAS invites you to a Lunar Night for InOMN 2015 ~

Noeleen Lowndes - September 4, 2015


On the evening of Saturday the 19th September from 6 to 9 pm, members from the Southern Astronomical Society will be setting up there large telescopes to show everyone our magnificent Moon in celebration of the annual lunar event called the International Observe The Moon Night.

Along with looking at the Moon, the beautiful planet Saturn will also be on display, which is always a wonderful object to view through large telescopes. Our members will also show you the constellations in the night sky along with the many star clusters and nebulae that are embedded in the Milky Way. (Weather permitting)

So come along and have a wonderful night of stargazing, the event will be held at the property called ‘WOODSTOCK’ which is at 231 Plunkett Road at Tamborine. (Please see more information on the flyer)

For more information please contact Bryan Pott on 0431 096511 or 0401217347.

Sm Flyer InOMN SASSm InOMN Logo

~ Send your name to Mars ~

Noeleen Lowndes - September 4, 2015


Why don’t you have some fun and Send your name to Mars on NASA’s next space mission called InSight…but you’ll have to be quick as it closes on the 8th September 2015. Please go to the website below and download your special Mars certificate 🙂

Sm InSight Mars

To learn all about NASA’s exploration of Mars please go to:

World Record Stargazing Event – Friday 21st August 6.00 – 9.00pm (With record update and photos)

Noeleen Lowndes - August 8, 2015


~ You are invited to be part of this wonderful event for Science Week ~

The Southern Astronomical Society supports ‘Science Week’ with a World Record Stargazing Attempt being organized by The Hon Karen Andrews MP the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry & Science Federal Member for McPherson.

The All Saints Anglican School at Highfield Drive Merrimac is hosing the event and the Stargazing will be held on there large school oval with members from the Southern Astronomical Society kindly providing there large telescopes for everyone to look through.

There will be lots of food available on the night and also a live-streamed link from Mt Stromlo Observatory with astronomers giving talks, including a presentation by noble prize winner Prof. Brian Schmidt.

You can bring your own telescope or a pair of binoculars on the night to participate in the event, or purchase a telescope for only $5.50. But you must be very quick to order the telescopes by the 12th August so they can be delivered on time for the night.

Entry is free – but to be part of the world record you must register!
Go to the eventbrite ticketing section on the Facebook Event page:

Please Remember: Don’t forget to bring along your World Record Stargazing ticket so it can be scanned on the night to go in for the record attempt.

Come along and have a wonderful night of stargazing and hopefully we can make our record of 800 people looking at the night sky 🙂

Latest update on the Guinness World Record for Most People Stargazing Across Multiple Sites in a Country. (Australia)

As of the 4th September 2015 we are still waiting for confirmation, but as you see from the numbers below Australia has smashed the current record of 3007 from Mexico…but it has to be made official by the Guinness Book of Records.

MP Karen Andrews office will let us know as soon as they do, the latest information is from the Facebook site at:

Current tally is 8366 with 38 sites having reporting evidence. There were 3 sites, which were rained out, one site which didn’t meet the Guinness requirements and several which withdrew due to logistical difficulties. We’re still waiting on evidence from other sites which will be finalised by COB Monday when we submit our evidence pack to Guinness World Records. We’re hoping for confirmation of Australia’s newest world record by Thursday.

(Please see all the details for the night on the event flyer below and some images from the Stargazing Record night) 

1b.Paper bulletin

Copyright: Gold Coast Bulletin Photo: Glenn Hampson

Stargazing World Record flyer 1c.Header for event 2.Stargazing event NLowndes 3.Warwick telescope 4.Lyn Julie Noeleen 5.Ray Telescope 6.Hans Telescope 7.Michael and Joe 8.Karen and Brendan1 9.Karen and Brendan2 10.Michael New 11.People Warrick Telescope 12.Allison and friend 13.People Stargazing 14.Hans grandchildren 15.People 16.Stargazing cer

~ SAS member Dylan O’Donnell images on APOD and ESA websites ~

Noeleen Lowndes - August 8, 2015

Dylan’s awesome image of the ISS traversing across the lunar surface has been presented on the NASA ‘Astronomy Picture of the Day’ website for the 31st July 2015.

9.Dylan APOD


Dylan’s text me to say that Commander Scott Kelly just shared his APOD picture from space! With the “Here I am!” How cool was that!
Congratulations Dylan on your second image to be highlighted on the APOD website 🙂

~ Dylan photographs the ESA tracking station in Western Australia ~

Dylans Image

Dylan’s was also invited to visit the European Space Agency’s Deep Space Tracking station in WA in early August where he took some beautiful images of the radio telescope with the Southern Cross.

I’m sure we are going to hear all about and see many more images at our next general meeting in September…what a wonderful opportunity, great work Dylan 🙂

Please go to the link below to see his image with the information at:

To see more of Dylan’s stunning image please go to his website at:

~ The New Horizons spacecraft successfully fly-bys Pluto ~

Noeleen Lowndes - August 8, 2015

On the 14th July, the New Horizon spacecraft successfully flew by Pluto at and incredibly close distance of only 1,250 kilometres and showed us what an amazingly complex world Pluto really is. Those first real images of a reddish coloured planet with a huge icy area in the shape of a heart were just breathtaking…we could even see the likeness of the doggy Pluto in this same region which is now named Tombaugh Regio after Pluto’s discoverer Clyde Tombaugh.

It’s just so hard to get your mind around how an object that’s only the size of a grand piano could travel nearly 6 billion kilometres through the solar system and safely reach its target at the precise time and place nine and a half years later to begin imaging…but that’s what NASA does time and time again with its space exploration…its just incredible!

Remarkably at the time of closest approach you could watch where the spacecraft was by using NASA’s ‘Eyes on Pluto’ app, that is designed for your computer or your mobile device…this app shows you where New Horizons is right now and you’ll find it at:

Currently, the spacecraft is now many millions of kilometres away from Pluto but its precious cargo of data is still to be delivered to Earth, so expect many more wonderful new discoveries to come over the next 16 months.

How do we get back all this wonderful information back from New Horizons? It’s done by NASA’s Deep Space Network of Radio telescope that are placed strategically around the globe to capture the signal from New Horizons please go to the DST website to find out all about it at:

Congratulations to all the New Horizons team for all your dedication in showing us what this mysterious little planet looks like…and what a spectacular surprise its turned out to be 🙂

Please find below a couple of the stunning images taken during this remarkable flyby, go to the New Horizons website to view more at and stay tuned for many more new discoveries to be made over the coming year from all the data collected.

If you want to see a stereo image of Pluto please go to the APOD image for the 6th August 2015 at:


Mosaic NASANASA-charon-inset


~ NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft finally arrives at Pluto on Tuesday the 14th July 2015~

Noeleen Lowndes - July 12, 2015


It’s only 2 days now until humankind will be enlighten by the images and science taken from the New Horizons spacecraft that will fly by this enigmatic small world called Pluto.

The New Horizons spacecraft left Earth in January 2006 for a journey that has lasted over nine years to finally arrive on Tuesday the 14th July at 9.50pm (AEST).

This is going to be an amazing moment in history…to see what this planet (dwarf planet) really looks like that’s nearly 6 billion kilometres away from us. The DSN tracking station at Tidbinbilla in Australia will be tracking the spacecraft during the flyby, so Australia is playing a crucial role again in another space mission.

DSN Pluto encounter

In August 2006 the IAU demoted Pluto from being a fully-fledged member of the solar system to being a dwarf planet along with Ceres in the asteroid belt and numerous other bodies discovered beyond Pluto in an area known as the Kuiper belt.

Yes, it was a very controversial issue at the time and I would say still is…because before the classification NASA has already sent this robotic explorer off to discover exactly what this far orbiting body was really made of…these are indeed very exciting times, its been a long time since we’ve seen another new world in our solar system like this.

Pluto has been in the imagination of humans since its discovery by Claude Tombaugh who first discovered the rocky world in 1930. We all grew up with this little planet being known at the 9th planet in our solar system

Pluto has always held a fascination for children, I think because it was so far away from the Sun and very tiny they felt an affinity with it, plus they really loved its name…now we all know that a feeling like this is not what you call ‘real science’ but it seems quite remarkable to me that the first real close up image that’s been taken shows an incredible heart shape feature on the surface…now isn’t that quite extraordinary!


Soon we will see it with our own eyes, thanks to the continued vision from the people at NASA and all the scientists that truly believe in the exploration of the universe we live in…thank you NASA for your vision and sharing that knowledge with all humanity.

Please go to the websites below for more information and to witness live coverage of this wonderful event:

Stardust Kids_IMG_9236Stardust poster IMG_9256

The children from the Stardust Junior Astronomy Club on the Gold Coast got very excited about New Horizons spacecraft arriving at Pluto, so they did up a poster of drawings for the New Horizon team at NASA to put up on there wall…Noeleen Lowndes 🙂

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