History of Mount Burnett Observatory

The Monash Observatory at Mt Burnett (approx 40 km east of Melbourne) was established in the early 1970’s by Monash University. Originally overseen by the Science Faculty, it soon became a field station of the Physics Department, and has been operated and maintained by Departmental staff (academic and technical) and research students.

In 2011 the site became a community observatory and has been used to promote astronomy and science to the broader community ever since.

Monash Dome

  • The mount dates back the late 1940s.
  • The telescope was bought by Monash University from the deceased estate of Mr. L. Jeffree in Bendigo in 1968 and the staff and students modified it to take a spectrograph. It was installed here in 1972.
  • It was originally a 16 inch mirror in a wooden tube. The wooden tube was unable to handle the weight of the spectrograph and other instruments, so Monash University decided to upgrade.
  • The 18 inch mirror was installed in 1984.
  • Was last used scientific research by Monash University in 2004.
  • MBO Inc. took on the repairs, upkeep and maintenance of the facilities in 2011.

New Dome 2018

Celestron Dome

  • The building started early 2016 and concluded in 2017.
  • Officially opened by Mr Jason Wood M.P. on the 24th November 2017.
  • Houses a Celestron 14 inch HD Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope.
  • The aim for the dome is to have it fully automated and be utilised by MBO members and for scientific research.