This section differs from all other ASV sections in that we perform an ongoing public service mainly by providing regular public demonstrations of the night sky in observatory surroundings. Demonstrators run scheduled Members Nights and contribute to other ASV activities also. We meet as a group at least once per year or more frequently, on a needs basis. Members need to qualify to be part of the section.
Any ASV member is welcome to attend Members' Nights held monthly at Melbourne Observatory to see the buildings and equipment and view the sky through the large observatory telescopes. Members may bring (but not send) friends and relatives to these nights. Meeting details are announced in the ASV's Newsletter "Crux".
To be a demonstrator one should be an ASV member of at least one year's standing and be prepared to attend training sessions for about four months at the Observatory. After qualifying, demonstrators are usually rostered once per month either at booked public demonstrations or Members' Nights or at other occasional and scheduled events.
Courses are run on a needs basis and announced accordingly. Course material is tailored to public demonstration activities and covers general astronomy theory and practice, optics, historical notes, public speaking, interaction with the public, and audiovisual training. Demonstrators need to be willing and able to talk to small groups to share their knowledge, as distinct from being part of an audience, or a solitary participant in the scientific hobby of astronomy. Contact the Director for more details.