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Jim Trainor Observatory

All Abilities Observatory

Leon Mow Radio Observatory

Remote Observatory Project

Thanks to the generous contribution from one of our esteemed and longstanding members, the Astronomical Society of Victoria (ASV) is thrilled to offer its members exclusive access to a remarkable "dark sky site" for astronomical observations. Located approximately 1.5 hours north of Melbourne, near the charming central Victorian town of Heathcote, the site is known as the 'Leon Mow Dark Sky Site.'

This exceptional facility is open for members to utilize at any time, allowing them to indulge in the wonders of the night sky. It serves as the backdrop for various exciting annual events that capture the imagination of both ASV members and the wider public. Notably, we have the highly anticipated Messier Star Party held in March, where enthusiasts gather to marvel at the celestial objects cataloged by Charles Messier. In addition, the Galactic Centre Star Party, an exclusive event for our members, takes place around September, offering a unique opportunity to explore the captivating wonders of the galactic center. And let's not forget the festive spirit of the Christmas Star-B-Q, a delightful gathering that wraps up the year with celestial celebrations.

When visiting the dark sky site, members have the freedom to bring their own telescopes and binoculars, or simply bask in the beauty of the southern sky with their naked eye. For those who don't have their own equipment, there will be scopes available for shared use. Furthermore, members can look forward to the privilege of experiencing the society's impressive 40-inch telescope and the awe-inspiring 25-inch Obsession telescope, both of which will be operational during designated observing sessions.

To ensure utmost comfort and convenience, the site boasts excellent amenities. The club rooms feature a fully equipped kitchen with a stove, hot and cold running water, as well as clean and modern toilet and shower facilities. Members can also take advantage of the two designated observing fields: the general viewing field and the photographic field. These spacious areas provide ample room for setting up telescopes, capturing breathtaking astrophotography, and immersing oneself in the wonders of the night sky. Additionally, to support members' needs, a reliable 240V power supply has been installed, enabling seamless operations of electronic equipment.

For those who wish to extend their stay and fully immerse themselves in the enchantment of the night sky, camping is permitted in designated areas on-site. This allows members to fully embrace the nocturnal ambiance and take advantage of extended observation opportunities.

We are immensely grateful to our generous member for making this exceptional dark sky site a reality for the ASV community. It serves as a sanctuary for astronomical pursuits, fostering a deeper connection with the cosmos and creating lasting memories for all who venture there.

Join us in this celestial sanctuary and unlock the mysteries of the universe at the Leon Mow Dark Sky Site.

LMDSS coordinator

The ASV's Leon Mow Dark Sky Site (LMDSS) is meticulously managed and developed by a dedicated committee, working closely under the guidance of the ASV council. Led by Gavan Salter, a passionate astronomer and the LMDSS coordinator, this committee plays a pivotal role in ensuring the site's optimal functionality and ongoing improvements.

With a strong focus on maintaining the LMDSS as an exceptional astronomical observing location for ASV members, the committee actively oversees various aspects of its operation. They diligently handle planning, financial matters, and strategic decisions to enhance and expand the site's facilities. Regular reports on recent developments, site usage, and financial aspects are provided to the ASV council, ensuring transparency and effective communication.

Collaboration is key, as the committee actively engages with other ASV sections, such as the meteor section, to coordinate and facilitate the utilisation of the site for specific astronomical endeavours. This fosters a harmonious integration of different astronomical interests and ensures the LMDSS remains a hub of astronomical activities.

The committee is continuously seeking enthusiastic individuals who are willing to contribute their time and expertise to both short-term and long-term projects aimed at maintaining and further developing the LMDSS. Volunteers play a vital role in preserving the site's quality and making it even more remarkable for the benefit of ASV members and the wider astronomical community.

For further information or to express your interest in volunteering, don't hesitate to reach out to Gavan Salter, the dedicated and passionate LMDSS coordinator. He can be contacted via email at Your involvement can make a significant difference in shaping the future of this extraordinary dark sky site.

LMDSS Allsky Camera

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