Frequently Asked Questions

1Why do you say 'Night shows not suitable for under 5's'? and why did you move the Observatory to the Kingaroy airport?

1. The shows are outside in the cold night air, not suitable for little ones when the temps hover around 3C in winter and 10C in summer. 2. During the 2 hour show, the astronomer is giving a running commentary to others, to what they're viewing in the telescopes and answering questions, all without disruption. 3. While we do not ban under 5's, we make it imperative to any parent wishing to bring under 5's, that if the small one is getting noisy, the parent must take them next door into the Star Theatre and nurse them, so not to be a disruption to others as mentioned above. The parents can take turns nursing the little one. 4. Under 5's will not understand very much if at all, to what they're looking at, or even see it properly in the telescope. While we make every effort to allow everyone to enjoy the show, little ones can get bored very easily, not settle down and upset the tranquillity and harmony of others.

We are just a short 4 minute drive from the town's CBD and we have nice dark skies!

2On what dates do you run your Night Shows?

Our night shows only operate on the dates listed in our Calendar page. We don't do any night shows 4 nights before, on, and 4 nights after a Full Moon.

Night shows only run when we have 4 or more adults and if the skies are clear/ Always check with the Observatory. first.

3Must I book for a Day and / or Night show?

Yes, bookings are essential for both Day and Night shows. Phone 0427 961 391

4Can I book and pay online?

Groups of 6 or more people are required to pay a 25% deposit before their booked in show, via direct deposit.

Groups of 5 or less are not required to pay a deposit.

Being an outdoor activity at nigh business, our stargazing shows are all weather dependant. That is why we do not use credit card. You pay CASH at the Observatory door on the night of the show.

5What is the maximum number you can take for a Night or Day show?

40 persons for a night show and 77 persons for a day show.

6Do I have to check with the Observatory for Night Show weather updates

YES! If there's patchy cloud in the sky it's recommended that you call the Observatory at 6pm on the night of your booking for a check. You can view our ALL SKY CAMERA on our website.

7What do you do if the skies cloud up during a stargazing show?

If the sky clouds up within the first 30 minutes of the show and there is no sign it will clear, you will be offered a refund or given a 3 month rain-check. If the skies cloud up AFTER the first 30 minutes and there's no sign of it clearing, we offer two alternatives: Adjourn to the Star Theatre for an A/V program to finish off the booked session or go home.There are NO refunds.

8What do we get to see in the telescopes?
On moonless nights you get to see to see a lot more of the night skies because the darker it is, the more you see. On these nights we show you through our telescopes, things like double stars, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. On the Moon nights you get to see the Moon and planets up close however, star clusters etc, won't look as bright as on a moonless night, but nonetheless you do get to see whatever we can show you in our telescopes.

Winter is best to view (and photograph) the Milky Way, Scorpio, Sagittarius and Carina. In Summer Orion, Canis Majoris, Rigel Orionis, the Great Nebula of Orion - M42, and the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.

Check our Show Dates Calendar page to plan your night out under the stars.

9If I wear glasses do I leave them on?

If you wear glasses for infinity vision leave them on, as the telescopes will be focused for 20-20 vision.

10Can I buy a star?

While 'buying a star' is a nice way to remember a deceased loved or any other reason, it's a novelty as you can buy anything on the Internet these days. The only organisation that can name (not own) a star, clarify a constellation, name a planet, moon, etc, is the International Astronomical Union (IAU) which represents 1000's of prof astronomer and scientist worldwide. So if you have brought a star or it has been named for you and you want to see it in a telescope, as long as you have the star's current celestial position, our computer operated telescopes, can slew to those coordinates to see if that star is visible.

11How large and what type are the telescopes you use?

We have three LX200 Meade 14 inch diameter mirror F10 Schmidt Cassegrain telescopes capable of magnifying up to 800X.

12Is it difficult to look through your telescopes?

No. We use 2" dia. eyepieces so they are big enough to use even when wearing glasses. Each telescope has its own height adjusting pier that can be raised or lowered the scopes to suit the height of any observer, including those in wheelchairs.

13When is the best times to see a starry night sky?

Any night that has NO cloud and little to NO Moonlight. Look at our Show Dates Calendar page or contact us to find out or when to book your starry night show.

14What do I wear or bring on my observing night?

In winter, do not wear jeans as cotton will absorb the cold night air and dew. Instead, wear track suit, woollen clothes.

In summer you can wear what you feel comfortable in but bring a coat just in case.

If you keep your head, feet and hands warm, your whole body will stay warm. We supply blankets to keep your lap and shoulders warm.

15What is the main attraction in the Day Session?

Viewing the Sun on the big screen from a colour video camera attached to the Solar telescope outside in the white dome.

You also get a special 10 minute video about the Sun which explains Solar Prominences, Flares, Sunspots, Auroras etc.

We also show you other videos about the Solar System and the Universe.

16Who can teach me Photography of the Night Skies?

James Barclay - owner and operator of the Kingaroy Observatory can. He is an accomplished Astrophotographer with over 60 years experience. He runs these Workshops at Boondooma Homestead where the skies are very dark and the have accomodation. See their Facebook page for more details or call James on 0427 961 391.

17How close does the Moon, planets and stars look through your telescopes?

When the 'seeing' is right our telescopes can show you unbelievable clarity.

18Why are you so happy in your work? (kids question)

Because I like showing the visitor what I have been enjoying all my life - viewing the Milky Way galaxy with a telescope and camera.

19Have you ever been into Space or to the Moon? (kid's question)

Only in my dreams.

20How many stars in a galaxy and how many galaxies? (kids question)

There are possibly more stars in a typical galaxy than grains of sand on a beach and more galaxies in the Universe than every grain of sand on Earth.

21Is there any accommodation in Kingaroy?

Yes! Just click on our Accommodation page to get a full list and more!