Home' The Chronicle : Canberra chronicle 8-12-15 Contents Tuesday, December 8, 2015 - 14
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Ditch telescope for starry night
The Geminid meteor shower taken at Saddleback Mountain, near Kiama.
Photo courtesy David Finlay
Excited observers are days away from
witnessing one of the most spectacular
celestial events in the southern
Without raining down all his best
astronomical puns, Mount Stromlo
astronomer Dr Brad Tucker said the
“stars had aligned’’ and conditions
were looking good this year.
He said the waxing new moon
meant the skies would be dark and
enable gazers to see both the most
brilliant and faint meteors passing
“It’s really a spectacular show and it
lives up to the name of a shower,” he
“You can expect in a given hour to
see between 20 and 100 shooting
You have to brave it in the wee
hours to catch the shower and best
viewing is between midnight and 4am
on Sunday, December 13, and Monday
‘‘The coolest part of a meteor
shower is it’s an astronomical
phenomenon you can see with your
own eyes,’’ he said. ‘‘You don’t need
any telescopes or special equipment
and the Geminids are pretty much
visible from anywhere in Australia
from Tasmania to Darwin.”
In contrast to a lot of capital city
dwellers Canberrans were lucky they
didn’t have to travel far to get away
from the lights.
The observatory is not hosting any
special events as in theory you can
catch all the action from the comfort of
your own backyard.
However, Dr Tucker said elevated
spots with easterly vantage points can
be worth the hike.
“Mount Ainslie is good and the
Mount Stromlo boom gate too as it
faces east, but for the more
adventurous Lake George is a magical
spot to see it unfold,” he said.
Dr Tucker said gazers would have to
be pretty snappy to catch a good shot
on their smartphone as nature turned
on one of its best firework displays.
“If you want to document it the best
thing to do is put a camera on a tripod
and set it for long exposures,” he said.
“That’s where you can get some
fantastic shots and the longer you
leave it the more activity you get.”
Workshop to put
For people who want to make a
difference in their neighbourhood, a
Champions of Change workshop is
being held on Monday, December 14.
The event is run by Canberra
community organisation SEE-Change
in collaboration with CDNet, the
Community Development Network.
“There are lots of people in our
community that are making positive
change happen, or would like to make
change happen in their community, but
are getting ‘stuck’ with actually
achieving change,” SEE-Change
executive officer Jodie Pipkorn said.
“The purpose of this Champions of
Change workshop is to provide
information, tools, skills and motivation
to deepen people’s knowledge of how to
make positive change actually happen in
Ms Pipkorn said the event would
draw on ideas from Seattle’s Director
of the City’s Office for Neighborhoods,
Jim Dier, who facilitated a recent Asset
Based Community Development
workshop in Canberra.
For more details, visit
ROAD SAFETY STRATEGY
TAKES A STEP FORWARD
The first appointed members of the
ACT Road Safety Fund Advisory
Board have been announced. The fund
was established in July to fund
projects and initiatives related to road
safety research and education and road
trauma prevention, in support of the
government’s road safety strategy. The
Road Safety Fund replaced the
NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust.
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