Outback Astronomy’s safe summer stargazing

Picture of Outback Astronomy
Outback Astronomy
Andromeda satellites nearby

The covid-19 virus has created challenges for human interactions and health.

Covid’s cunning delta variant – we shorthand its name to delta-V – continues to cause concerns. Possibly new mutants will emerge.

We need to stay vigilant as we offer safe summer stargazing.

We must learn to exist with these viral threats. As we do this, Outback Astronomy will continue to operate safely.

  • All our astronomy experiences including dinners are hosted outdoors.
  • Generous spatial distribution of guests occurs on our purpose-built stargazing site.
  • Cleaning and sanitising processes are normalised.
  • We no longer issue warm gear to guests.
  • There is no sharing of binoculars or audio equipment.

However, the delta-V is more transmissible than the original, and this requires further safety considerations at our venue.

By the way, in rocket science the term delta-V refers to change in velocity. While these days the virus makes the Greek letter delta seem an unsavoury word, it is commonly used in physics as a way to denote change. In a space mission, for example, delta-V refers to a change in fuel used manoeuvring a rocket into a new orbit. It is associated with the cost of space travel.

Back to safety – at our venue going forward, please note these safety routines in place to enhance safe summer stargazing:

  • Upon arrival, all guests must scan the Service NSW QR code – download the Service NSW app prior to attendance
    • Please do not leave this until you arrive. Get to know your phone network provider’s coverage – you may experience difficulties if you try to download an app at our front gate (see the FAQs for more information);
  • Sky show events without bookings (about 12 hours before the scheduled sky show start time) will be removed from the calendar;
  • Eftpos transactions only allowed at the venue –
    • Food and beverage service must be purchased online as possible;
    • Please do not bring food and beverages to our venue under any circumstances – we will ask you to return the items to your vehicle;
  • Staggered guest arrival times communicated by text message service;
  • Guest departures will be staggered, controlled;
  • Increased use of disposable packaging at some events with food and beverage service;
  • Increased use of director’s chairs;
  • Guests must be prepared to follow more instructions, for example
    • Do not attend if unwell
    • Wear a mask outdoors
    • Remain in allocated seating area until permitted to move about
    • Use hand sanitiser as directed
    • No queuing near other guests

See the most recent Outback Astronomy covid safety plan. Find it in the FAQs.

Sky show events to enjoy this summer include the popular sky show “Hang out with the Stars®”. This event is hosted by Outback Astronomy on clear dark nights. Generally it is scheduled on moon-free evenings and includes popular telescope views of the Andromeda Galaxy during November, December and January. See the image in this blog post showing the galaxy with two foreground satellites cruising nearby.

Summer time is warm and balmy and the best time to enjoy safe summer stargazing in your reclined chair. With a PLUS ticket you can enjoy food and beverage service while enjoying your virtual galactic cruise.

Your sky guide will introduce you to galaxies, constellations and stars.

Andromeda Galaxy is naked eye visible from Broken Hill when conditions are clearest and darkest. Most guests will be using binoculars for their viewing.

Other objects visible to the naked eyes include the two galaxies closest to our Milky Way Galaxy, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.

The summer sky also hosts fabulous constellations of the zodiac and the brightest stars seen from our planet.

The Sky Tonight is hosted when the moon is out. This event introduces you to lunar phases and close up views of the moon’s surface.