Watching the earth turn away from the sun in Broome

From Cape Leveque it was back down to Broome for a couple of days to get the car serviced, restock and enjoy some of the treats of civilisation.   One night I joined one of Greg Quicke’s Astrotours.   After developing an interest in astronomy while camping under the stars in his time as an outback mechanic.   I’m not sure how things went from there, but today he runs these very popular tours and has quite an impressive telescope collection to support them.   He somehow ended up on one of Brian Cox’s Stargazing Live shows and his beard seems to have worked wonders for his profile as he is now known internationally as “Space Gandalf”.   S

He presents his own tours in Broome in the dry season and his enthusiasm, wit and knowledge combine to deliver a very absorbing 2 hour show.    A particular aspect he dwells on is explaining how one can see the earth turning by looking at the motion of the stars.    He claims that watching the sun set is a form of denial and that one should rather say something like watching the earth turn away from the part of the sky that the sun is in.

astrotours setup
The Astrotour setup at the last light of day.   Telescopes pointing at Jupiter which can already be seen.
space gandalf
Greg Quicke mingling before the tour start.   Having a Celeston 11 like the one next to him was a dream of mine as a child.   Now that I could maybe afford one, I’ve become too practical to get one.
jupiter and moons
Unfortunately I couldn’t take pictures through the telescopes, but I had a go at photographing Jupiter.   You can clearly see the disk and 2 of its moons, even a third one further below if you look hard.    It’s amazing what you can do with a handheld camera these days.

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