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The Heights Observatory

The Heights Observatory is a purpose built facility consisting of two buildings. The Papaelia Observatory is a domed shaped observatory housing a 30 inch reflecting telescope. The Ingham rooms are a flat top retractable roof observatory housing a 20 inch Meade reflecting telescope. A small classroom is adjacent to the viewing area. The Observatory also possesses a range of portable telescopes, binoculars and a ST7 CCD camera. A universal H-a solar filter is used to view the sun.

A number of night groups meet weekly at the observatory. These groups are made up of school students, parents and interested members of the community. Each group explores a particular interest or theme, such as CCD imaging, the planets, our solar system etc. Group members are supervised by night supervisors who are adults with an interest in astronomy and helping in the school community.

The Observatory Management Committee represents the interests and provides the leadership of the observatory. Students fill all executive positions and by meeting regularly, students develop leadership skills and knowledge of meeting procedures.

Groups or individuals from outside the school are more than welcome to visit the observatory.

Evenings are organised through the school and members of the night groups will host visiting groups. A visit to the Observatory normally includes viewing of astronomical objects through telescopes and binoculars with a commentary provided by students and parents. Groups with particular interests such as CCD imaging can also be catered for. Enquiries can be directed to the school.

A presentation made at the World Conference for Gifted Education is included with this information. It provides images of the observatory and illustrates how the observatory is integrated into the curriculum.