Scenic Rim Astronomy Association’s Star Party leaves guests amazed

MODEL rocket launches, telescope viewings and displays could be seen at Scenic Rim Astronomy Association’s Star Party as those with a curiosity for the night sky released their inner astronomers.

About 400 people flocked to the old Laravale State School on Christmas Creek Road to stargaze, learn about astronomy and try astrophotography with Tamborine Mountain resident Kate Wall, known as The Light Chaser.

Guests also enjoyed a mercury space capsule replica, a meteorite display, a gravity well demonstration and radio astronomy – which lets people listen to planets through radio waves on Saturday.

SRAA president Greg Campbell said he was glad the clouds disappeared when the moon rose so stargazers could catch a glimpse of the clear night sky.

“There is a lot of curiosity and wonder in what they can see,” he said.

“The rockets have been a big hit as well as Saturn coming up – everyone loves Saturn.”

Mr Campbell said visitors were in awe of the planets they could see, with most responding with disbelief.

“We are having to say to them yes, that really is Jupiter,” he said.

“Some people were looking at the end of the telescope because they think we were tricking them by holding something in front of the telescopes.”

Mr Campbell said the event was a success with SRAA members who were prepared for the influx of visitors and stargazers enjoying their night.

“Last year we were surprised at how many people turned up so this year we were more prepared with plenty of activities and car parks available,” he said.

Mr Campbell said he hoped the Star Party had satisfied people’s curiosity of the stars, planets and all things astronomy based.