The Briars Astronomy Centre
The Briars is the ideal place where nature meets the skies. The Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society promotes amateur astronomy at its Briars Astronomy Centre, conducting regular public lectures combined with observing using modern telescopes at the Peter Lowe Observatory.
The society promotes general astronomy and educational opportunities concerning our planet and its environment.
Since 1969 the society has promoted amateur astronomy to both the general public and amateur scientists. This includes regular viewing nights, both private and public, to observe the currently available and constantly changing celestial objects. These are combined with specialized public lectures on the latest astronomical topics.
For nearly 50 years the society’s “Astronomy on the Move” program has supported local schools and interested community groups across the Peninsula and surrounding regions. During this period the society has held National, State and local conferences with its members becoming internationally recognized and published for their contributions within the global amateur astronomy community.
The Briars Astronomy Centre is a registered designated (DO3-1) observatory to preserve its heritage significance on the peninsula.
The new purpose built Peter Lowe Observatory enhances its ability to perform both research and educational objectives.
The society conducts:
- Monthly Public Viewing Nights & Talks (1st Friday of Each Month)
- Viewing nights for Schools and community groups
- Operates regular astronomy education courses
Visitors are always welcome and membership details are shown on the website at www.mpas.asn.au
- The society is family friendly and maintains an active social program in keeping with its theme that “Astronomy is Fun”.
- Membership requires no previous astronomical experience. Members have a range of skills and willingly pass these along to beginners. Various training and workshop events are held covering topics ranging from basic skills through to advanced methods.
- Membership is open to all persons over the age of 16 years. For legal purposes a supervising adult must accompany persons under the age of 16 years.
- You don’t need to own a telescope to join. The society has telescopes available suitable for members of all ages. Many society activities do not require access to telescopes. Members who own telescopes are encouraged to bring them to the various viewing events.
- Membership is principally drawn from a broad region centred on the Mornington Peninsula including the South Eastern suburbs and eastern Victoria regions.
- Members are encouraged to participate in all Briars and school viewing events to both broaden their skills and help support the society activities.
- Members participate in the various astronomy camps and astro-parties held around the country and often travel to more distant locations to take advantage of observing sites beyond the city light pollution.
- Annual subscriptions are due January 1st each year. There are no other fees. Various subscription options are shown on the society website.
- A final word for new members is “Participation”. The most fun is had through participating in the various society activities and learning from new friends.