Astronomy Benalla’ exists to promote the interest and enjoyment of amateur astronomy.  Through the provision of a venue with facilities and resources, we seek to foster a safe and enjoyable learning experience, whilst seeking also to engage the interest and involvement of the wider community of Benalla and district. PRESIDENT’S REPORT FOR 2017 At the dawn of a new year, someone once remarked, “In regard to what this New Year holds for us, we are all in the dark.  But isn’t that when the stars shine their brightest!” With each advancing year we gain another twelve months of wisdom and perspective. Astronomy Benalla Moves closer to its first decade, and astronomy in general continues to push back the boundaries, discovering new horizons and having to rework old hypothesis. For us, 2017 was a steadier year; not making too many onerous demands upon us.  Our presence was more subtle, with minimal static and interactive displays, including hosted viewing nights for the public. We continue to be a point of contact for school groups who want to incorporate a night of sky watching into their science curriculum.  The Presbyterian Ladies College of Melbourne appear to have become a regular client on our March Calendar.  About twenty Year 12 ladies were bussed to Winton Wetlands at the end of March, where we hosted a very successful viewing of the Moon, Jupiter, and the Orion Nebula, in spite of very strong southerly winds. Another school (one we had never heard of before, much less say!) employed us for a very challenging night of viewing.  From my perspective it was an utter waste of time, but they were still happy to give us $60 for our troubles. Other viewing nights were cancelled due to inclement conditions, and it seemed to me that we could be as busy (or not!) as we literally wanted to be, if we were to routinely follow up on each of these events.  So that is the question to be asked: how ‘active’ do we wished to be?  Is Astronomy Benalla to be focused on its members, or the community it is in? Both are legitimate. We were also offered a role in promoting Benalla through the tours proposed by Lindsay Thomas.  This hasn’t developed into anything as yet, but the concept is interesting and stands to make Astronomy Benalla potentially a lot of money if we were to participate.  Again, should we take an ‘initiating’ role?  ‘Science Week’ also offers us an opportunity to connect with our community and promote an interest in Astronomy (and us!).  Highlights of the year, for me, were the ‘Come & Try’ Day organised by TomorrowToday at Churchill Reserve, the ‘International Observe the Moon Night’ at the Mural, and the hilltop viewing at Honey Suckle Rise, Kialla.  Of course, there were many other events that come to mind when we look back.  The Lunette Walk at the Wetlands was windy and rushed, but very enjoyable and satisfying in its unique opportunity; There were budding astrophotographers sending us amazing photos of their pursuits; People with cosmic questions they wanted answers for; Enjoying an end-of-year meal together at the Golf Club; and the numerous presentations shared with us - each reflecting many hours of research and an obvious love for all things ‘Astronomy’. This year we had the privilege of learning from the following: “Cosmic News Reel”    - Bev Morton  “Exoplanets; the new discovery of the Trappist 1 System”  - Jeff Knight “Black Holes” - discussion             - Rupe Cheetham “The Orion Nebula - Revisited”  - Bev Morton “The Moon; images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter”    - Rupe Cheetham “Constellation Scorpius”  - Rupe Cheetham “Australian & European Southern Observatory Alliance"  - Bev Morton  "Jupiter”              - Jan Andrews "Aboriginal Astronomy"             - Rupe Cheetham  “Announcement of colliding Neutron Stars & Gravity Waves”  - Rupe Cheetham “Neutron Stars; a Kilonova”             - Bev Morton      Thank you to one and all.  May 2018 see us another year further in our pursuit. - Jeff Knight President, 2017. “I have loved the stars too fondly              to be fearful of the night” - Galileo
Home of Astronomy Benalla Aristarchus crater - Moon Hubble Orbiting Earth Cosmic Pearls around Exploding Star
Pictures from the Hubble Site
Home Committee Gallery Events Activity Reports Contact Located in NE Victoria
Presidents Report - 2017
Astronomy Benalla Black Hole Most photos on this site can be zoomed by clicking the photo