Exhibition puts Bathurst at the centre of the universe

NEW EXHIBITION: Ray Pickard from Bathurst Observatory with one of the pieces from his collection currently on display at the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum. Photo: RACHEL FERRETT 080317rfspace1

NEW EXHIBITION: Ray Pickard from Bathurst Observatory with one of the pieces from his collection currently on display at the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum. Photo: RACHEL FERRETT 080317rfspace1

AN exhibition like none before it has arrived at the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum.

Space Rocks in an opportunity to see a portion of Bathurst Observatory’s extensive collection of meteorites and Ray Pickard’s own space photography. 

Fossil Museum public programs officer Penny Packham said this was the first time the museum has featured an exhibition of this nature. 

“Very early on we had an exhibition of space photography from three different photographers from the region, but this is the first time we’ve had an exhibition exclusively with the Bathurst Observatory and the first time we’ve had meteorites in an exhibition,” she said. 

The exhibition includes meteorites and other specimens, including rocks from the moon and Mars, and 35 images of well-known galaxies, nebulas, comets, star clusters and planets.

“I’d say that they are putting Bathurst at the centre of the universe because all the photos where taken from Bathurst,” Ms Packham said.

The meteorites included in the exhibition range from small fragments right up to a 61-kilogram meteorite found in Argentina. Most of the meteorites on display are around 4.6 million years old.

“It is amazing to think that all of these pieces existed before Earth was created,” Mr Pickard said. 

Also on display is a piece of the Molong meteorite, found in 1912, which was donated to the observatory. 

Mr Pickard said the exhibition would showcase a collection that many people were probably unaware exists. 

“It is probably one of those unique things that Bathurst has in the region that is unknown to locals, that there is this big collection of meteorites,” he said. 

Space Rocks will be on display at the museum until December 1. People can visit the exhibition between 10am and 4pm Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 2pm on Sundays.

Admission charges to the museum apply for this exhibition.

To coincide with Space Rocks, the museum will hold its annual Somerville Lecture on August 22.  

The guest lecturer will be Ross Pogson, a mineralogist from the Australian Museum, who will share his knowledge on the Molong meteorite.  

To book for this lecture, phone the museum on 6331 5511.  

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