Welcome to MPAS
MPAS is a volunteer-run Astronomical Society, located at Mt Martha on the Mornington Peninsula. It was founded in 1969 to foster the study of all aspects of Astronomy, Space and general Science by volunteers and to promote these to the public.
You can visit us at one of our popular public stargazing nights, where you can learn more about the Universe and take a look through our telescopes at the planets, the Moon and the stars.
We hold a monthly general meeting for the exchange of ideas and information. For decades the Society has provided “Astronomy on the Move” educational presentations, including observing nights for schools and community groups exclusively in the Peninsula and surrounding areas, as well as special exhibitions in the Melbourne CBD and Melbourne Museum.
Mt Martha Observatory is the Society’s registered astronomical observatory at The Briars Historic Park. It is used to further the Society’s educational, research, innovation and recreational capabilities. Historically this was the first registered amateur observatory in Australia and is one of a network of registered global monitoring stations of night sky light pollution. The Observatory is registered with the Astronomical Society of Australia. We acknowledge the land, water, and sky under which we meet are of the Bunurong and Boon Wurrung peoples and we pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
Newsletter / monthly highlights / meeting videos
- MPAS Meeting November 2023Main talk: “The NASA Psyche Mission: An Electric Journey to a Metal World”, presented by Dr. Lindy Elkins-Tanton, Principal Science Investigator for the mission at the University of New Mexico. Public lecture courtesy of the National Academy of Sciences.
- Scorpius No. 6 (November/December) 2023Topics: Vale Ian Sullivan; Psyche asteroid mission; Mt Buller; how to adjust a finder scope; the ionosphere.
- November: Orion makes its return to our summer night skyIn November, the constellations Scorpius and Sagittarius are slowly leaving our night skies to be replaced by Orion and… Read more: November: Orion makes its return to our summer night sky
- MPAS Meeting October 2023Main talk: “Our Solar System: How Geology Began”, presented by Prof. Sara Russell, Planetary Scientist & Senior Research Lead at the Natural History Museum, London. Courtesy of the Geological Society, London.
- October: Meteors, constellations, and sights in the cloudsAfter the wonderfully rich views of the southern winter, October night skies look rather empty, with the exception of… Read more: October: Meteors, constellations, and sights in the clouds
- MPAS Meeting September 2023Main talk: “Advanced Propulsion for JPL Deep Space Missions”, by Senior Research Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dr. Dan Goebel.
- September: See them before they’re goneBe sure to enjoy the rich regions of Scorpius and Ophiuchus this month before they sink below the western… Read more: September: See them before they’re gone