Kingaroy Observatory owner James Barclay turned his stargazing hobby into a business.
Kingaroy Observatory owner James Barclay turned his stargazing hobby into a business. James Barclay

World record attempt promotes astronomy as popular hobby

THIS week thousands of amateur astronomers around the nation took park in the Stargazing Live world record attempt.

Kingaroy Observatory owner James Barclay said although it was exciting to beat the record, it was also designed to get people to experience the amateur astronomy hobby.

"It is more to get people out there under the stars and become aware of the night sky, whether there is a moon or not,” he said.

Anyone can take up the hobby and they do not necessarily need a telescope, rather ordinary binoculars and a star map, or phone app, to determine the constellations, Mr Barclay said.

"Astronomy is a hobby anyone can take up, all you need is the curiosity to look up and ask yourself, 'Where did all of those stars come from, and where they are going?',” he said.

The South Burnett often has the dark clear skies, which are perfect for stargazing, unlike places closer to the city, Mr Barclay said.

"Country people are blessed with these beautiful dark skies, and I'd encourage anyone to take an interest in this sort of science because it can lead to some wonderful careers.”

He said the Kingaroy Observatory was interested in getting involved in next year's record attempt, to organise one of the biggest stargazing events the South Burnett has seen.

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