The Heights Observatory is a purpose built facility consisting of two buildings. The Papaelia Observatory is a traditional domed observatory housing a 14" F10 Meade LX200 GPS ACF Schmidt Cassegrain telescope.
The Ingham rooms are a flat top retractable roof observatory housing a superior quality 12.5" Ritchey–Chrétien Cassegrain telescope from Optical Guidance Systems on a Losmandy HGM 200 mount. A small classroom is adjacent to the viewing area. The Observatory also uses a 16" Meade Light-Bridge Dobsonian, a 10" GSO Dobsonian, and 80mm Celestron NextSTAR GT GOTO scope, as well as binoculars, and a QHY8 cooled CCD camera and Canon 40D DSLR camera for astronomical imaging.
The voluntary STAR group meets each Friday night at the Observatory. This group is made up of school students, parents and interested members of the community.
A Public Viewing Night is held each month in association with the Astronomical Society of SA, generally on the Friday closest to the First Quarter Moon. Please see http://www.assa.org.au to confirm details of the night and to check for cancellations due to bad weather.
Groups or individuals from outside the school are more than welcome to book the observatory for private viewing sessions for a small fee per person.
Evenings are organised through the school and members of the STAR Group will host visitors.
A visit to the Observatory normally includes viewing of astronomical objects through telescopes with a commentary provided by students and amateur astronomers who mentor the STAR Group. Groups with particular interests such as Deep Sky CCD imaging or guided wide field photography can also be catered for.
Please contact Sharon Robertson at the school on 8263 6244 to discuss bookings.
All dates are Fridays - close to the 1st quarter moon.
Please visit the ASSA website for Public Viewing Night dates
There is no need to book - just turn up on the night at the advertised starting time (8:00pm, or 8:30pm during daylight saving).
The following admission fees are charged at public viewing nights:
Children under 15: $3
Viewing nights will only proceed if the weather is suitable. If in doubt, confirm by visiting the website:
http://www.assa.org.au/facilities/theheights before travelling to any observing session.
Getting to The Heights Observatory
The Heights Observatory is located on the grounds surrounding The Heights School at Modbury Heights. Enter via the driveway on Augustus Street and park along the top of the oval.