SSON is proud to announce our partnership with Peter Starr and the Warrumbungle Observatory in Coonabarabran, NSW, Australia. We’ve worked with Peter over many months to help him automate the Warrumbungle Observatory to get it ready to serve our SSON users.
The observatory contains a 0.51-meter (20-inch) PlaneWave telescope with a SBIG STL6303E CCD camera with BVRI photometry filters and a clear filter. The observatory is located in one for the finest observing locations near the world renowned Siding Springs Observatory site. You can read more details about the Warrumbungle Observatory on the SSON web site later this weekend when we publish the new content for Warrumbungle scheduling, which opens for SSON users on Monday July 28.
Warrumbungle Observatory is the first SSON Southern Hemisphere observatory site making the entire southern skies available for for science and aesthetic imaging projects.
I asked Peter to tell us a little about himself and his background to you in this blog.
— Rich Williams
My name is Peter Starr, and before you ask, that is my real name.
I originate from Wagga Wagga in southern NSW in Australia and became interested in the night sky from the age of 5.
Chemistry and the nature of the atom was also a strong passion and I have worked most of my life as an analytical chemist developing and validating test methods for pharmaceutical companies as well as managing and improving their quality systems.
Astronomy and chemistry of the stars was also a strong passion and an opportunity to manage Siding Spring Observatory near Coonabarabran in NSW presented itself. I completed a Masters Degree in Astronomy and setup Warrumbungle Observatory nearby allowing other astronomers to setup their observatories here for remote operation. Their activities range from supernova searches to astrophotography. Their successes have been deep space astrophotograph of the year from The Royal Observatory in Greenwich, an image making the front cover of the NASA calendar, several APODs, and many supernovae confirmations.
My main research interest is photometry of cataclysmic variable stars particularly UGSU and WZ Sge type variables in the attempt to understand the evolution of cataclysmic variables and the nature of accretion disks in superoutbursts of UGSU stars.
I upgraded my own research telescope to a 20 inch PlaneWave Telescope in 2012 which is now fully automated to share with others remotely on the Sierra Stars Observatory Network.