Sydney City Skywatchers

Sydney City Skywatchers – a friendly astronomy group for locals
6:30pm till about 8:30pm, first Monday of the month
in Sydney Observatory’s basement Discovery Room

We encourage new members to join, no experience is necessary!
Join the oldest operating astronomical group in Sydney. The group provides an opportunity for those interested in astronomy to share and broaden their interest in the sky. People at all levels are catered for – from beginners to serious amateur astronomers. Whether you want to listen to a lecture or discuss serious observing through a telescope, this is the club for you.

Meetings are held on the first Monday of most months and usually begin with brief reports on solar activity and other astronomical observations made during the month by club members, followed by either a presentation from a guest speaker or telescope viewing followed by a light supper. We provide information below about special presentations. There is a charge to cover the cost of a light supper – $2 for members; $5 for non-members. Bookings are not required. Meetings conclude around 8:30pm.

Non-members are welcome to attend two meetings before deciding whether to become a member. It is possible to join Sydney City Skywatchers on the evening or take home a membership form. Annual membership is $40 for lots of great benefits ($65 for family membership).

What shape is the universe? A presentation by John Webb

Date: 1 September 2014
Time: 6:30pm (followed by members presentations)
Place: Sydney Observatory ‘Discovery Room’

John WebbJohn Webb leads the observational work at UNSW using high resolution spectroscopy of quasars to search for variations in the fundamental constants of Nature.

New observations are hinting at departures from standard cosmology. It is possible that the so-called “Cosmological Principle”
is only a good approximation to reality and that the universe may be more complex (and even more interesting) than previously thought.
John will summarise recent observations and describe how we might confirm (or refute) these ideas with more data from the world’s best observatories.

W. J. MacDonnell's observatory in Mosman, c 1907

From left: William John Macdonnell, Mrs Macdonnell, Nathanial Basnett and G. D Hirst in front of Macdonnell’s private observatory in Mosman, c.1907. He was a leading member of the NSW branch of the British Astronomical Association – a forerunner of the Sydney City Skywatchers.