The Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society Inc. is an incorporated association in the state of Victoria, Australia.
On this page you can find our general membership rules and safety regulations, as well as a copy of the Society’s constitution.
Membership renewals are due in January of each year. When a member joins during the year a six monthly-prorated membership fee may apply to bring the member’s renewal date in line with the January renewal date. Details are shown on the website.
Memberships may be renewed in cash or online.
Unpaid memberships become non financial from the 1st April.
Special longer-term memberships are available at a reduced cost. Details may be obtained from the secretary.
New or renewing memberships will be advised of their membership status when the membership is approved.
Members about to become non-financial will be advised by the members’ officer. Enquiries concerning membership status should be referred to the members’ officer.
Under the Incorporated Associations Act the MPAS is required to maintain a members list under the control of the Association Secretary.
While practical astronomy is a lot of fun, it does have some inherent risks. Astronomy is done in the dark and in the open environment. Instruments are generally black in colour, mounted on tripods and have numerous dangling wires often connected to computers. Tripping is a definite hazard.
It is thus important that when setting up equipment you make yourself aware of the other equipment on the field and the access pathways being used.
Working in the open environment can lead to exposure problems even in the summer months. It is important that you have appropriate clothing and learn to recognise the effects of hyperthermia.
Hyperthermia can sneak up on you particularly in winter and you need to be vigilant for any signs. Warm clothing and warm drinks are the best defence. (Beanie and jacket are a minimum)
The society has a laser usage policy. Whilst lasers are useful on the observing field as pointing instruments, their use is regarded as potentially dangerous and care must be taken according to the guidelines in the laser policy.
Members using lasers on the field must read and acknowledge by signature the rules for laser use on the field. The Secretary holds the records of acknowledgement.
If required the society will provide a letter acknowledging membership for the purpose of laser weapons registration with the police.
NOTE: Field lasers (handheld or instrument attached) must not be used at public events.
Climbing ladders or stairs at night can be particularly dangerous. The use of ladders during observing should be discouraged if possible. Ladders with more than two steps should have handhold stabilizers bars. Ideally there should be a work platform capable being locked down.
LIGHTING ON THE OBSERVING FIELD
During observing it is important to achieve and maintain your eyesight dark adaption both for safety and observing purposes. To help preserve other observers night vision bright lights should not be used. Red lights or weak white lights are acceptable.
RUNNING (MOVING AROUND THE OBSERVING FIELD)
The use of tripods, telescope mounts and ladders combined with generally poor lighting means care should be taken when moving about the observing field.
Running on the observing field is banned.
Children should be controlled to prevent running on the field.
Members should park their vehicles in the upper parking area near
the environmental centre.
If required members may park directly on the observing site but care should be taken given the mix of instruments, people, children and vehicles. Consideration of other members should be taken when entering the field after dark.
SAFETY ISSUES / AUDITS
The society maintains a system of safety audits at planned events and throughout the year to ensure any safety issues are identified and corrected appropriately. Safety issues should be reported to a committee member as soon as possible to ensure prompt assessment and appropriate correction.
You can download a PDF copy of the Society’s constitution (its Rules and Regulations) below.