Revisiting the OpticsCentral Open Night 2016 in Melbourne

OpticsCentral Open Night 2016 Revisiting the Open Night

This October 8th marked the third ever OpticsCentral Open Night that OpticsCentral has ever held. Located in Melbourne, our Open Night was a great success with both an unexpected turnout (~45 guests in total) and clear and calm skies that we would only have dreamed of. As much work as we had devoted into perfecting our Open Night this year, luck was definitely on our side with this event to make it a success!

OpticsCentral Open Night 2016 Telescope Testing

Since its conception, the underlying goal of the OpticsCentral Open Night has been to engage the local community in astronomy by creating a family-friendly night under the stars with telescopes. We would have telescopes available for testing with experienced staff to help out wherever needed, speakers who would educate the guests about their relevant organisations and teach the guests a thing or two about astronomy, and raffles and gift bags to make the night a win for everyone. Luckily enough, we were able to achieve this goal with the help from our friends at Saxon and Celestron who not only helped beginners become more acquainted with their telescopes but made the night run smoothly by assisting beginners throughout the night and lending us some of their equipment.

Optics Central Open Night 2016 Telescope Set Up

This year, we were also lucky enough to have Chris Rudge, the president of the ASV  as well as Stewart Beveridge, the General Secretary, speak at the Open Night.  Their expertise in astronomy as well as their generosity to help beginners and more experienced amateur astronomers improve by providing them helpful advice throughout the night were admirable and appreciated. If you are lost and need some help catering to your newfound or growing interest in astronomy, we would highly recommend joining the ASV and attending a few of their meetings or activities. You can read more about the ASV here and you will be joining a close knit community who are passionate and excited about astronomy.

Optics Central Open Night 2016 ASV Speaker

Furthermore, for the first time ever, we participated in the International Observe the Moon Night,  which shared the same underlying goal as our Open Night – to invite everyone to appreciate and educate themselves about the Moon. Throughout the night, the guests were all invited to show appreciation for the Moon by observing or taking pictures of the Moon and the planets. I tried my hand at it – and failed compared to the brilliant pictures I saw the guests take. However, it was still a lovely memento from the night. For those who unfortunately could not come, here is my prized amateur-est picture of the Moon taken with an iPhone 5 through a Celestron SkyProdigy 130 that I would like to share with you.

Optics Central Open Night 2016 Picture of the Moon

If you missed out this year, don’t fret – there’s always next year! To get updates on when Open Night 2017 will run, make sure to follow us on Facebook and to subscribe to our newsletter. As many of you have learned, remember to sign up early to secure your gift bags and refreshments!

Optics Central Open Night 2016 Gift Goodie Bags


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