The Backyard Universe
Stargazing & astronomy experiences.
Nature, scenery, food & wine tours.
About The Backyard Universe
Bank details for Direct Payment:
The Backyard Universe Pty Ltd
BSB 633 000 (Bendigo Bank)
account 157 173 428
When paying by bank transfer, don't forget to include your name or our invoice number as a payment reference. Otherwise we won't know who the money came from and we'll regard it as anonymous donation.
Mail PO Box 235 Yankalilla SA 5203 AUSTRALIA
Phone or SMS 0488 705 224 or 0410 335 482
If your phone call is diverted to our voicemail then don't forget to include your own phone number in your message. Otherwise we won't be able to call you back!
When we're in remote areas we carry a satellite phone, to which we divert our incoming calls (but not SMS). Wherever we are, your phone call to us is charged as a "voice call to a standard Australian mobile phone number".
Fraser blames his family for his lifelong interests in astronomy & geology. His granddad gave him an astronomy picture book for Xmas, after they had watched Comet Ikeya-Seki rounding the sun together. Soon afterwards two of Fraser's aunties irresponsibly encouraged him to collect interesting rocks from the local beaches. His mum then deliberately placed Fraser in a primary school that had its own rock and fossil collection; and had teachers who recklessly allowed their pupils to watch TV broadcasts of the Apollo moon missions instead of completing the official school curriculum. Consequently Fraser has never been able to understand long division, cursive writing, or double entry bookkeeping. Fortunately, Fraser was able to turn his childhood rock collecting into a geology degree and a 30 year career in mineral processing and exploration. This gave him even more opportunities to see interesting rocks, and spectacular night skies, and helped pay for the several telescopes he's bought or built since 1973. Since 1987 he's been sharing his astronomy passion with thousands of other people at Astronomical Society of SA viewing nights. Always while wearing shorts regardless of the air temperature. And meanwhile, interesting rocks continue to follow Fraser home...
Joe has been observing the sky for over 50 years. He is an Honorary Life Member and current President (a few times) of the Astronomical Society of South Australia. He also edits their monthly newsletter, The Bulletin. Since 1990, (this is his 26th year) he has written a monthly "Starwatch" column for The Advertiser newspaper in Adelaide. Joe has made regular appearances on radio and television, and is frequently asked to comment on new discoveries. In 2002, he served as a southern sky specialist for visiting U.S. and European astronomers who were in Australia for the total solar eclipse. Joe delivers astronomy themed presentations across Australia and the US. He was Chairman of the Observatory Committee that established ASSA's Stockport Observatory, 80 kms north of Adelaide in 1986, and is currently Leader of the South Australian Telescope Project, which is working on the completion of a 36" observatory telescope. He leads 5 astro-camps a year to the Flinders Ranges, and is one of the organisers of the annual VicSouth astro-camp in western Victoria. He recently trained staff from the iconic Ghan Train, to present sky shows for passengers in the South Australian outback, where the night sky is pitch black. The Ghan is one of the world's great railway journeys, crossing the continent 3000 kms north-south, Darwin to Adelaide.
Lyn is too modest to say much about herself. But she is an Honorary Life Member of the Astronomical Society of South Australia, and has been presenting astronomy to the public for longer than she wants to admit.
Lorraine wonders how she got into this business but nowadays she seems to be enjoying it more than her own. But she's still not convinced that "sillimanite" is a genuine mineral name.
Our other helpers:
From time to time we invite other experienced astronomers and scientists onto our tours to enhance the experience for all.