Outback Queensland draws visitors from all over the world to admire the natural environment, from the flat plains of the Channel Country to the mesa formations of the Vindex Ranges. The lack of population, low humidity and light pollution make the geographical location of the Museum site, atop The Jump-Up an ideal spot to stargaze.
The Jump-Up night skies are exceptionally clear and dark as there is no light pollution from human activity or urban centres. From this location the Milky Way is visible to the naked eye as it arches across the night sky and extends as far south as the constellation of Crux. Within its Galactic Centre the Milky Way is brightest from the direction of Sagittarius. In the Orion Nebula, stars are forming in clouds of red and green gas as Sirius A shines brightly blue in the Canis Major constellation, moving imperceptivity closer to Earth. The effervescent glow of the nearby galaxies that orbit the Milky Way, the Magellanic Clouds can be found using the two brightest stars in the night sky Sirius and Canopus. While both are located in the Milky Way, the Orion Nebula is a star forming region whereas Eta Carina is a stellar system in the constellation of Carina that has progressively become unstable and on the verge of ending its life in a seismic supernova explosion.
To increase public engagement to this very remote Museum while protecting the unique dark skies of The Jump-Up, the Museum is applying to the International Dark-Sky Association for the status of International Dark-Sky Sanctuary for the Australian Age of Dinosaurs/ The Jump-Up (The Jump-Up) site.
Go stargazing and love astronomy at the Museum’s Public Night-Sky Viewing Area!
The Public Night-Sky Viewing Area is the perfect place to enjoy some of the darkest skies in the world. The viewing area is free, open year-round and located at the base of The Jump-Up. Bring your telescope, binoculars, picnic and enjoy our spectacular Southern skies!