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Jupiter and Io

 
Booking FAQs
The Oxford Observatory is run by passionate volunteers who generously donate their time to make astronomy more accessible to everyone. 
 
Our Most Frequently Asked Question - Are You Open for Bookings? 
Yes, we are taking bookings for this season! 
SPACES ARE LIMITED!!
We would love to see you exploring the heavens above at our facility.
 
What are the cost?
Tour packages break down 
Standard Group Tour @ $10 pp (minimum 10-20 person)
Small Group Tour @ $20 pp (Minimum 5-9 person)
Private Tour @ $30 pp (Minimum 2-3 person tour)
*Student Tour avail a 20% discount per student.
 A booking fee of $50 is required after confirmation of your booking. This can be prearranged and goes towards the total cost of your booking.
 A cancellation fee of $50 will be charged if the booking is cancelled with 24 hours' notice. The remaining balance will be refunded if paid in full.
 *The Observatory will subsidize student discount - We will require a school name to process the discount.
How do I pay?
The Observatory accepts cash on arrival. The correct amount will be finalised at the time of booking confirmation. Please bring correct change if possible.
School Group booking invoices can be pre-arranged via the Oxford Area School.
There are NO EFTPOS facilities at the Observatory. We are working on other payment methods to make this easier.
 
What does a Night sky tour include? 
The Observatory runs a variety of Night Sky tours based on what the request was at the time of booking. 
 
Standard Group Tour Program*:
  • Safety Brief - 5-10 minutes
  • Introduction to Astronomy presentation - 20-30mins
  • Q&A - 10-15mins
  • (The group will be split into two of the following rotations)
  • Rotation 1 - 30mins: Observational astronomy - Popular night sky objects ( Inside Dome - Learn about the telescope and view some famous southern sky objects)
  • Rotation 2 - 30 mins: Guided Southern Sky Constellation Tour (Outside Dome - Learn about the popular constellations mythology and the Zodiac, Laser guided constellation spotting, Naked eye objects, Spotting the Southern celestial pole
  •  Debrief Q&A Feedback - 10mins
 *This program outline is subject to change based on the viewing conditions on the night. Talk to your sky tour guide if you have any special requests
 
How do I make a booking? What are the details to include?
Bookings can be made via email: oxford.observatory@gmail.com
 
Please include the following details: -
Name:
Contact number:
Date of booking request:
Number of people: Adults & Kids/Students (We will require the school name to process the discount)
Any Special Request: School Group curriculum topic/Special event - Birthday etc..
 
What do I wear?
Please note that the temperatures can reach below zero on cold clear nights.When the dome is open all the heat rises and temperature cools down inside the dome.
We recommend a few layers to keep warm.
Hats, Beanies, Jackets, Gloves, Scarves, Thick sole shoes etc…
 
What are the timings?
Tours usually run from 7pm to 9pm. This may sometimes be extended based on the viewing conditions and interest. Please aim to be at the observatory at 6:55pm.
 
What are the booking terms and condition? What happens if the weather is bad?
You can nominate the primary booking night based on the weather forecasts and availability. The observatory can assist you with choosing the dates if required. If the primary date was weather cancelled you can nominate a standby/reserve night based on availability. This is at no additional charge but you are committed to use the reserve night for your booking.
You can also choose to come out on the cloudy night and learn about astronomy in our little theatre. We also play an astronomy movie of the day in case poor viewing and discuss the concepts. If the conditions improve during the night which can happen we resume our observational astronomy.
 
What's the weather looking like? 
Any local astronomy forecast off google should give you a good indication of the conditions.
 
Is there a maximum/minimum number of people?
The observatory can fit a maximum of 20 people comfortable in our little theatre. A minimum of 2 is advertised for a private tour. Please email us for individual tour pricing if interested.
 
Does the observatory have wheelchair access?
The observatory is accessible by wheelchair. Please email us with some detail and we can see how we can accommodate.
 
When is your next Public Open night?
Public Open nights are organised every 4th Friday of the month. If this coincides with another event, the date can vary to either the week before or after. There are no standby days for public open nights in case of cloud cover.  We also play an astronomy movie of the day in case poor viewing. If the conditions improve during the night which can happen we resume our observational astronomy.
Please check on our Facebook event listings
Open Nights Donation $2
 
Do you take new volunteers? How do I get involved? 
Volunteers fully operate the Observatory Tours. We are always looking to grow our volunteer pool
We are looking for 
  • Admin - Emails booking coordination 
  • Content creators - Website manuals 
  • Designers - for promo materials web/facebook content etc.
  • Media support and PR
  • Sky tour volunteers
  • Handy skills for maintenance of observatory assets
  • Open night volunteers
  • Sky tour volunteers
  • Astronomy club coordinators
Some roles are specialized and some general all rounders 
Training will be provided if you are keen to learn a new skill and assist with Observatory Operations.
Please contact us via email/facebook if you are interested

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