2022 events

Sat 23rd 16:30-17:00

Introducing Big Skies Collaboration's Inland Astro-Tour routes

Merrill Findlay

Big Skies Collaboration

Way back in 2018, I introduced NACAA to our Big Skies Collaboration: see https://bigskiescollaboration.wordpress.com/2018/04/11/nacaa-2018/

Since then -- and despite bushfires, floods and the COVID pandemic -- we've made a little more progress with our various projects, including our proposed Inland Astro-Tour (IAT).

The IAT is our very ambitious astro-tourism, cultural heritage, STEAM outreach (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics), and restorative development initiative to link, share, promote, and conserve sites of astronomical significance in south-eastern Australia’s rural and remote inland. The draft IAT routes each begin and end at a Stargate in a capital city - Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, and Canberra - to draw city and international travellers into the Inland.

As well as the many professional and citizen observatories in this vast region, the routes include critical metal and rare earth mines sites (because the elements are made in stars), Dark Sky areas, First Nations sites, and what are best described as astro-gastronomy sites, or places where we can be wined and dined under the stars!

I'd also like to invite NACAA members to add their own sites to the interactive map, and to offer their ideas about where to go next with this mega-project. You can view the draft map here: https://bigskiescollaboration.wordpress.com/projects/astro-trail/