Public Outreach


The ASSW conducts public viewing nights and astronomy nights for schools and other groups throughout the South West.

For information about upcoming events see the News & Events or refer to our Facebook page. 

To inquire about school or private functions please contact

Public Nights

Typically, public observing nights consist of an hour's observing through the club and member telescopes, a half-hour presentation on the night sky and objects currently visible, followed by additional telescope observing.  

Tips for Public Observing Nights

Viewing through the telescopes

  • Parents, please look through the telescope BEFORE your kids. You are then able to assist them and discuss what they are seeing (it's much easier if you already know what they should be seeing).

  • When looking through a telescope cover your non-viewing eye with your hand, don't strain your face muscles to close it. You will find the viewing eye is more relaxed and sees more clearly.

  • Telescope focus will usually be adjusted for "normal vision" or the eyes of the telescope attendant. If you wear glasses first try to keep them on when looking through the telescope but if you're having difficulty seeing clearly then ask the attendant if you can re-focus without your glasses. 

  • When observing, hold the provided chair or ladder and avoid touching the telescope if possible. The telescopes can move easily and can take a few minutes to re-align if they're accidentally pushed.

Night Vision

Night vision is important when looking through a telescope. It can take between 10-30 minutes for your eyes to fully adapt to dark conditions.
  • Turn phone brightness down (all the way down!) to preserve your night vision

  • Avoid flash photography as it blinds everyone for a few minutes

  • Be careful where you walk. The observing area has minimal lighting to preserve everyone's night vision.


  • Wear warm clothes, or bring a jacket, it can get cold at night even on warm days

  • Observing will generally go ahead if there are some clouds, up to (say) 50% coverage, depending on the forecast. If the night is cancelled due to bad weather an announcement will be made on our Facebook page.