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Things are really booming at Mount Burnett Observatory. The concrete base for the new dome has been poured and things will move quickly now. The dome will improve access and viewing for those who can’t make it to the top of the main dome, not to mention enhancing future astrophotography and research possibilities.

In addition, they have just hosted VASTROC, the Victorian Astronomy Conference. From the Opening Night at Mount Burnett, to the events at Emerald Secondary College and the Conference Dinner at Beaconhills Golf Club, this was a huge and highly successful event, featuring sessions on Galaxies, Supernovae, Occultations, Constellations, Gravitational Waves, Indigenous Astronomy, Gender Imbalance in Astronomy, Astrophotography, STEM Education, Light Pollution and the way forward for Amateur Astronomy. Academics from Swinburne, Monash and more mixed with amateurs from the ASV, Ballarat, Mornington Peninsula and the fabulous team from the Bright Astronomy Club who travelled all the way to the Dandenongs with their Outreach trailer. Add to that students, teachers and politicians and you have an eclectic mix, who enjoyed not only their astronomy but all the wonderful facilities in Emerald and the local area.

To quote James Murray, MBO President, “42 hrs, 100 participants, 23 presenters, a dozen volunteers and lots of food’.