Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Specialist History Tour: Sharing the Universe at Melbourne Observatory

February 28 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm


Last year this event booked out in less than 24 hours! It is an RHSV members-only tour. 

This is a VIP tour of Melbourne Observatory, formally acknowledged as a place of outstanding national scientific, architectural, historical, astronomical and cultural significance, and a potential nomination for UNESCO World Heritage listing.

Historians and astronomers of the Astronomical Society of Victoria (ASV) including past President, Perry Vlahos, and Dr Barry Clark will attend and show and guide you in the Melbourne Observatory site. Depending on the weather you may see Venus, the moon’s craters,mountains and valleys, the Orion nebula, the Cat’s Eyes binary and the beautiful blue and orange colours in the binary star in Canis Major.

Melbourne Observatory was one of only four nineteenth century observatories in the Southern Hemisphere, and provided critical infrastructure for the functioning of the colony and the wider scientific world. The Photoheliograph and South Equatorial House were constructed to allow observations to be made of the Transit of Venus in 1874, part of a concerted, world-wide project that yielded information new to science.

In 1875, the Astronomer Royal praised the Melbourne Observatory for its production of “the best catalogue of stars of the Southern Hemisphere ever published”. The Observatory also played a vital role in the exploration of Antarctica in the early twentieth century by providing the basis for magnetic surveys.

During the nineteenth century the Great Melbourne Telescope at the Melbourne Observatory generated great community pride and was then a symbol of the city’s sophistication and achievement. In its time it was recognised internationally as one of the best telescopes employed in pursuit of new discoveries in the sky.”

Melbourne Observatory is now on the National Heritage List (early 2018).

Important information about the tour:

  • Each tour consists of a max of 12 people. If there is sufficient interest we will book two tours which will occur simultaneously.
  • The tour is conducted at night and are not suitable for wheelchairs due to narrow entrances and staircases. This tour includes entry into confined spaces and climbing stairs, therefore requires a moderate level of physical fitness and mobility
  • The tour will not be cancelled due to overcast or inclement weather conditions. Our guide will conduct an informative tour although the use of telescopes for observation in these conditions will not occur
  • This program is not suitable for children under the age of 8 years. Children 8 years and above must be accompanied by an adult.
  • This is both an indoor and outdoor activity. Please wear appropriate clothing for weather conditions and appropriate footwear.


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Tickets are no longer available
Tickets are no longer available


February 28
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Event Category:


Royal Historical Society of Victoria
03 9326 9288


Melbourne Observatory
Birdwood Avenue
Royal Botanic Gardens, VIC 3004 Australia
+ Google Map