Stargazers gather to look skyward

MERRIMAC will host a world record attempt on Friday night.

We are being encouraged to head to All Saints Anglican School to help set a record for the “most people stargazing across multiple sites”.

President of the Southern Astronomical Society (SAS) Noeleen Lowndes said they need at least 800 people to Highfield Drive between 7-9:00pm.


Ms Lowndes said All Saints is an ideal host site as it boasts a really large oval.

The event coincides with National Science Week this week, Ms Lowndes said she received a phone call from Member for McPherson Karen Andrews who asked the “SAS if we’d like to be involved with it and actually provide the telescopes, and I thought well what a wonderful opportunity to get all the families and the community on the Gold Coast out for the night”.

Mrs Andrews added “I am very excited to be working with All Saints Anglican School, the Southern Astronomical Society Inc and the Gold Coast community who will lead Queensland in this world record attempt”.

A sausage sizzle will be onsite with all funds going back to the school or local community organisations.

Ms Lowndes said there will be lots to see with the planet Saturn and its beautiful rings visible.  She said those who take part will also be able to catch a first quarter moon “and of course that’s going to fill the eye piece up and people will be able to see all the lunar seas and the mountains, it looks magnificent in a telescope”.

Mrs Andrews added “this is a fantastic event the whole family can get involved in. The Southern Astronomical Society will conduct a stargazing session and there will be a wide range of telescopes, operated by astronomers, to view the craters of the moon, beautiful star clusters, nebulae and a special viewing of the magnificent planet Saturn in the night sky.”

“Prior to the world record attempt, there will be talks by a range of astronomers streamed live from Mt. Stromlo Observatory, including our very own Nobel Prize Winner Prof Brian Schmidt.”

“Interest in Astronomy has been soaring recently with the images of Pluto being beamed back to earth, an Australian radio telescope detecting a signal from a galaxy 5 billion light-years away and the discovery of Earth’s so called cousin, Kepler-452b, inspiring many” Mrs Andrews said.

For more information and to register visit the Gold Coast World Record Stargazing Facebook page.