The Solar System in Close-Up

BDAS member Dr John Wilkinson has released a new book in response to the new information gained about the Solar System from recent space probes and space telescopes,

John presents state-of-the art knowledge on the Sun, Solar System planets and small Solar System objects like comets and asteroids. He also describes space missions like the New Horizon’s space probe that provided never seen before pictures of the Pluto system; the Dawn space probe, having just visited the asteroid Vesta, and the dwarf planet Ceres; and the Rosetta probe in orbit around comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko that has sent extraordinary and most exciting pictures.

Those and a number of other probes are also changing our understanding of the Solar System and providing a wealth of new up close photos. This book covers all these missions and discusses observed surface features of planets and moons like their compositions, geisers, aurorae, lightning phenomena etc.

Presenting the fascinating aspects of solar system astronomy this book is a complete guide to the Solar System for amateur astronomers, students, science educators and interested members of the public.

Please contact Michael on 0448 402 032


Barry McPhee (1947 – 2016) A Sad Loss

Barry McPhee passed away, peacefully at home, on Friday morning
11 March 2016 after a difficult year of ill health. He was 68. For many
BDAS members this is a sad loss.
Barry was a long time BDAS member and an excellent Secretary for
many years. In 2003 Barry developed the BDAS school star night program,
an integral part of the Society’s activities that continues successfully
to this day. As Secretary he also edited the BDAS Newsletter
and played an integral part in BDAS first hosting VASTROC in 2007
Barry will be remembered for his quiet but always friendly manner,
his attention to detail, his wonderful, encouraging work with new
members and above all his lifelong passion for amateur astronomy.
Those of us who were fortunate enough to be in the right place at the
right time will also fondly remember the amazing biscuits Barry
would bake and bring to our presentations.
Our thoughts and best wishes go out to Barry’s family and especially
his wife Bev who supported him with great courage and fortitude
during his illness.

Telescope Loan Scheme for BDAS members

The BDAS is able to offer a loan of one of our new 6″ telescopes to members who want to play with one before deciding whether to buy an instrument of their own.
Informal instruction is available to get new members over the initial technical hurdles and on their way to observing the night sky.
Nominally these loans are for a month or two, subject to demand and availability.
Please email the club at if you want to have one of these telescopes to try out for yourself.