The Astronomical Society of Australia has been
asked by STANDARDS AUSTRALIA
to compile a list of "designated" optical
observatories that are valuable resources for (i) research, (ii) education
and (iii) community use. The ASA is the final arbiter of whether any
particular observatory is so designated.
The Australian Standard AS4282 on
"The Control of the Obtrusive Effects of
Outdoor Lighting" provides guidelines for planning authorities to ameliorate
the effects of light pollution in the vicinity of optical observatories. We
recommend that this standard and the guidelines should be drawn to the attention
of local and state planning authorities. Good lighting practice benefits the
whole community, not only astronomers.
Acceptance as a designated observatory
does not imply any form of legal status,
but it does recognise an observatory's contribution to the local or wider
community and in our experience assists an observatory present a stronger
case for protection against obtrusive lighting. The
International DarkSky Association
provides much information assisting this cause including strategies
for dealing with councils and neighbours. Membership is highly recommended.
The credibility of this public list demands a strict standard.
We list below essential criteria for a facility to be considered:
A permanent 'observatory' structure housing the telescope(s)
A clear strength in one or more of the three areas:
A supporting statement from a 'seconder' for the Application:
- research - astronomical data is regularly submitted to (and accepted by) an
internationally recognised astronomical organisation or journal
- education - a well-defined and continuing educational program (not just occasional school visits)
- community use - a well-defined and continuing program program of access to the local
community and/or tourists (preferably advertised; not just occasional visitors)
- For small private observatories, an officer from a recognised astronomical society
testifying to the usefulness of the research program being undertaken and/or the community
benefits of any educational activities.
- For school and college observatories, a senior officer of the administration.
Upon receipt of your application form, your observatory will be entered on a
list of "Pending Designated Observatories" on the ASA Home Page. Formal
acceptances are approved three times a year at ASA Council Meetings.
Status as a designated observatory will be reviewed every 2 years based
on calendar year
annual reports submitted in January.
Please fill out the application form below and
submit it. It will be emailed for you. A Text
version is available if your browser doesn't handle forms.
Under Instruments and Facilities, list not only the telescopes
but also any freestanding buildings that house them, such as a dome or
shed with sliding roof etc.
If you have any questions contact Mike Bessell
phone: 02 6125 0268
fax: 02 6125 0233