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The last day for registrations will be Anzac Day, 25th April 2013.
Each year since 1993, the Astronomical Society of New South Wales has hosted the now famous South Pacific Star Party (SPSP), at its 107 acre (43 hectare) country property Wiruna near Ilford, NSW, between Lithgow and Mudgee about 3 hours north-west of Sydney, through the Blue Mountains and into the NSW Central Tablelands.
The South Pacific Star Party provides amateurs with the chance to meet other amateur and professional astronomers, and observe under dark skies with superb seeing conditions, through all types and sizes of telescopes.
"Among the eucalyptus woodlands in New South Wales, Australia, there is 100 acres of land [Wiruna] designated for stargazing. Owned by a local astronomy society [the ASNSW], the land has both observation facilities and basic accommodations, though most prefer to camp. Each year, the society hosts a "South Pacific Star Party" during which 200 to 400 people convene for a weekend of star watching beneath one of the world's darkest skies." --Forbes.com, 18 June 2008.
The Star Party is the venue for the ASNSW Astroimaging Competition, which continues to make it one of the premier competitions amongst Amateur Astroimagers.
In honour of his memory of Scott Mellish, the ASNSW proudly announced the inaugural Scott Mellish Amateur Sketching or Drawing Competition in 2012. This competition will be held annually at the South Pacific Star Party and aims to promote the art of Sketching and Drawing within the world-wide amateur astronomical community. The competition is open to any member of an amateur astronomical society throughout the world and will be judged by popular vote during the star party.
Each year, members are asked to submit designs for the year's t-shirts. The winner receives free SPSP registration. Start designing now for the 21st South Pacific Star Party, 9th - 12th May 2013. Send entries to The Committee.
Telescope Makers and Software Developers
Recognition for excellence and innovation is given to Telescope Makers and Software Developers in the form of merit awards. More information about these informal "competitions" will be provided in the registration kit.
Facilities are available for camping and there is plenty of space for parking caravans. Barbecues and firewood are provided on site. Hot showers and flush toilets are also available. Great Hot Food (breakfast, burgers, coffee etc) is available for purchase at SPSP from the Kandos Scouts loacted in the Main Tent. The prices are reasonable and this is a very convenient way to enjoy the SPSP. Other general supplies are available from Kandos, Rylstone, Lithgow and Mudgee.
For those looking at a more civilized style of accomodation, the nearest Motel is at Kandos, about 25km from the site, or cabins at Cherry Tree Hill about 10 minutes drive away, or at Wattle Flat about 20 minutes drive towards Bathurst via Sofala. A list of off-site accommodation options is also available.
The Star Party typically includes formal daytime workshops, as well as formal and informal lectures, while evening events include observing, socialising, and sky tours for those of you who are not so familiar with the stellar skyscape, or if you just want to find some of the more obscure objects in the sky.
Due to the exceptionally dark skies at Wiruna, a Light Use Policy has been put in place when observing on the Main Observing Field at Wiruna to preserve the night-vision or dark-adaption of other observers.
Wiruna is also a Bird-Watcher's and Nature-Lover's Paradise, with an abundance of colourful Native Australian birds, Brush and Ring-Tail Possums, Wombats, and our own resident family of rather shy Kangaroos, which can usually be seen around dawn or dusk, around the Eastern Field. There is about 60 acres of bush on the property for those who like bushwalking.
The Anglo-Australian Observatory at Siding Spring is 3 hours drive north of Ilford for those who wish to make a day trip.
Each month, over the weekend nearest new moon, the ASNSW holds an Astrocamp (mini star party), which usually attracts between 20 - 40 members, and several non-members, and locals. Prospective visitors who are unable to attend the South Pacific Star Party are welcome to join us on any of these weekends. If you would like to join us one weekend, feel free to Email us to make arrangements.
While Wiruna gives you some of the best, easily accessible night skies in the southern hemisphere, it is also the perfect base for a little regional tourism during daylight hours.
We would like to thank our generous sponsors who have donated door prizes in recent years:
|SPSP1||May 21 - 24, 1993||SPSP11||March 28 - 30, 2003|
|SPSP2||May 6 - 9, 1994||SPSP12||March 19 - 21, 2004|
|SPSP3||May 26 - 29, 1995||SPSP13||March 11 - 13, 2005|
|SPSP4||May 17 - 20, 1996||SPSP14||March 31 - April 2, 2006|
|SPSP5||May 9 - 12, 1997||SPSP15||April 13 - 15, 2007|
|SPSP6||March 27 - 30, 1998||SPSP16||April 4 - 6, 2008|
|SPSP7||March 19 - 22, 1999||SPSP17||May 22 - 24, 2009|
|SPSP8||March 30 - April 2, 2000||SPSP18||May 14 - 16, 2010|
|SPSP9||March 23 - 26, 2001||SPSP19||April 1 - 3, 2011|
|SPSP10||March 15 - 17, 2002||SPSP20||April 19 - 22, 2012|
|SPSP21||May 9 - 12, 2013|