Stargard

This is an information page which applies specifically to observing sessions held at Stargard.

For general observing protocols which are applicable to any observing location please read:

Field Nights – Essential Information


Stargard sessions are for financial members only.

Stargard is the unofficial name which MAS uses for the observing field which we share with the Pony Club at the Dudley Chesham Sports Ground at The Oaks. The name “Stargard” does not appear on public maps or signposts.

We sometimes refer to it as Stargard 1 (SG1), as there is another area within the same sporting complex which we call Stargard 2 (SG2), which we utilise for public nights or when SG1 is too boggy.

Stargard is the furthest of three gated fields from the main entrance. The owner is Wollondilly Council. It is alongside The Oaks Airport .

We are not permitted to drive on any field if it is damp enough to leave tyre impressions.

The area surrounding the field is home to many wild creatures. Please respect their habitat and please do not bring any pet animals with you.

Please also see: What’s On?

Members Only

Our field nights at Stargard are for the benefit of financial members only and are not open to the general public. We prefer not to invite visitors, for insurance and other reasons. If there is a good reason why you think you might wish to bring a friend or family member, please discuss this with the President at least 48 hours in advance.

Admission is free. The venue is suitable for beginners, intermediate and advanced astronomers.

The absolute minimum attendance is two members, although for safety reasons the preferred number is three.

Location

Stargard coordinates are: 150° 33′ 43.7” E, 34° 05′ 00.2” S.

The elevation is 271m above sea level, which means it will get extremely cold very quickly after sunset.

New Members

Members who have not yet purchased a telescope and wish to familiarise themselves with the different types of equipment which other members are using are welcome to attend Stargard and seek advice from more experienced members.

General Field Etiquette

Please read our Field Nights page for our general protocols, customs and courtesies at observing sessions wherever they may be held.

Arrival and/or Departure

Members are requested to close the Sports ground main gate and throw the bolt (without padlocking it) after passing through. This is to permit entry or egress by other members but to discourage entry by non-authorised people. Gates 2 & 3 will remain open during the session.

To avoid any wheel damage to the field, all attendees must follow the directions to navigate safely to the observing area.

Park in two outward facing rows and leave in a forward direction past the other cars so you don’t reverse over people and equipment

You must not drive diagonally across the field and you must not drive on wet ground. You must limit your speed on the field to 10 kph.

The last members to leave will securely padlock all three gates.

Facilities & Services

Drinking water and 240 volt mains power are not available at Stargard, so you will require your own refreshments and battery power. Mobile phone towers are in the vicinity.

We regret there are no toilet facilities at Stargard observing field but are available elsewhere within the sports ground. We have asked the Council to consider providing closer facilities.

The nearest shops are in John Street.

Key Holders

Stargard key holders names and phone numbers are listed on the “Contact the Committee” page, accessible only to logged in members. We suggest you keep these numbers handy in the event that you get lost or accidentally locked out.

Dates

Stargard observing dates are scheduled for one or more nights per 28 day lunar cycle. If a scheduled night is cancelled due to weather, another night may be selected. Upcoming dates are listed on the Notice Board page.

Getting There

Please plan to arrive well before sunset.

Heading along Burragorang Road from Camden, about 800 metres past The Oaks roundabout, you will see a mobile phone tower and the Rural Fire Service on the left. Turn left and the main gate to the Sports Ground will be directly ahead.

If the front gate has been locked by another group, you will have to walk about 400 metres to find us in the third field or make a home call.

Once inside the main gate, turn immediate left and follow the track around the side of the sports field to gate 2 on your left at the far end of that road. Go through gate 2, down the slope and then through gate 3 over the narrow bridge straddling the creek. You’ll see us setting up our gear straight ahead.

When departing at night, drive slowly and watch carefully for the resident wombats and other wild life.

For first time visitors, here is a dash-cam video which shows the route between Burragorang Road and the observing field, co-starring (in order of appearance): Tony Law, Roger Powell and Dave Manning.