Search 4 Santa

Only two weeks till Christmas: time to track down Santa and Rudolph in the night sky! Ho, ho, ho.
On Saturday 15 December TM Universe in co-operation with the Chamber of Commerce organise a star gazing event at the Sport grounds. Members of the Scenic Rim Astronomers Association, who also helped a lot at the lunar eclipse, will take their telescopes to the sport grounds to share their instruments and knowledge with locals of the mountain.
Please take your own telescopes as well, and any cameras you like to use to take photos of the night sky. You’ll find people who can help you with night-sky photography.

Never looked at the sun through a telescope? Then arrive well before sunset.
If the weather is not good enough, the event will be cancelled on Saturday early afternoon: please check those websites for information. TM Universe will keep you informed on the community facebook page, the TM Universe, Facebook page and about the event.

Search 4 Land

TM Universe continues the project of rebuilding the former Arthur Page Observatory, as well as establishing a modern astronomical interpretive center/planetarium. The project, which started in August 2017, has achieved a lot: hundreds of members of the Facebook page, dozens of donations received and several successful astronomical events show the support of this wonderful project. The AGM was good and we have already received for telescopes as donations. Plans are well advanced for storage space and the move of the vintage telescope to the mountain.
The main hurdle still is ‘location, location, location’. After very little initial support by council, TM Universe tried to find a location on private land. That seemed to go well, till the owner re-considered his options for the land. Since then that option is in limbo, but after a ‘change of mood’ at Council, currently alternative options on private and public land are considered. Most suitable locations are either surrounded (or covered) by trees, are prone to light pollution or are on land that beyond our reach.
We hope that sooner or later an option will be available that suits both us and the land owner’. Any suggestions or tips?!

The original Observatory

Annual General Meeting 29 Sep

Annual General Meeting

Time and location
On Saturday 29 September, 9.30 for 10am start, the first AGM of TM Universe will take place. The Manor at Long Road has offered to host the event. Members and non-members are invited to attend, but only financial members are allowed to contribute to discussions, and vote. If you have ‘Bought a Block’, or if you became a financial member in one of the membership categories, then you are a financial member.
You will be informed about the progress of the project, about our higher and lower priorities, about the land and about funding options.
An overview will be given of the activities of the past 12 months. The committee is keen to discuss the progress of the project, and to get guidance by the membership on how to move on.
Election of committee
TM Universe constitution requires the committee to resign, leading to elections for a new committee. Only financial members can elect and get elected. To nominate a member please use this Nomination Form MC.
A list of candidates will be available at the AGM. If not enough nominations have been received at the start of the AGM, then nominations will be called from the floor.
The quorum for a general meeting is at least the number of members elected or appointed to the management committee at the close of the association’s last general meeting plus 1. The committee has had 5 members for most of the past year; therefore the quorum for the 2018 AGM will be six members.

All about the 28 July Eclipse

No effort is too big for the Management Team of TM Universe to please our fellow residents: on 28 July we’ve managed to organise a full lunar eclipse, conveniently on a Saturday morning. If the clouds are not a party-pooper, as they were during the last eclipse in January, then you may witness a unique event: a fully eclipsed moon during moon-set (and sun-rise). And more: Mars will be close to the moon, and close enough to the Earth to see his ice-caps through a telescope. And, on top of that: the International Space Station will fly over from 5.36 am.

Path of ISS from 5.36am

From 3.15 am a faint shadow of the earth will slowly cover the moon, but the dark shadow will not start till 4.24 am: that marks the start of the real eclipse. At 5.30 a.m. the moon will be fully eclipsed, covered by the earth’s shadow. Because of sun rays breaking through the earth atmosphere, the moon will not be pitch black, but turn dark red instead… this is often referred to as ‘blood moon’. At 5.36 the ISS will be visible for 6 minutes. The moon will be fully eclipsed till she slowly sinks below the Western horizon, at 6.35 am. At that time the sun will rise in the East.

You are invited to join us at the hang gliders site to watch this spectacular event. From about 4.15 am we will be ‘on standby’, equipped with (hopefully) telescopes, binoculars, camera’s and – above all – warm clothes, hot drinks and good mood. We hope that parents will take the effort to accompany their kids to the site as well, because for them the eclipse will be a great experience too: an eclipse during ‘moon-set’ is very rare… the next one will be on 1 January 2029. The next ‘evening full lunar eclipse’ will be on 26 May 2021.
During the eclipse we hope that we can share our knowledge (or lack of it) with each other, to get a better understanding of what an eclipse really is. In addition photographers present might be willing to share their expertise to help all of us to take nice pictures. On the Facebook page ample information is available about taking photos of a lunar eclipse, using anything from smartphone to professional cameras.
At this website information is given about the progress of the project to re-build the former TM Observatory, as well as a science centre and planetarium. Finding a suitable location for the project is clearly harder than we originally hoped, but progress is being made. The support of the community has been overwhelming and we are convinced that we will find a way to establish a great precinct.

Accurate forecasts of the cloud cover can be found on cloudfreenight website, from the 24th of July, and on the TM Universe website and Facebook page.

So, get ready for an early brekky at the hang gliders site on 28 July, an event happening only once in a blue moon.

Romance during the eclipse

That will be a spectacle: Mars and Moon meet during the eclipse. Mars is in the next two months at its brightest since 15 years, being very close to earth; it won’t be this bright again till 2035. On 28 July, during the eclipse, the red planet will – visually – be very close to the moon (see map of night sky on 28 July 4.00 am). With a small telescope the ice caps might even be visible. For astronomers viewing the Red planet so close is a big event; and it might be for Mars himself, and the Moon Goddess Selene as well… a lovely close encounter to be watched by all of us. Astronomy is a romantic science…. More on…/mars-is-spectacular-this-mont…

We are still flying!

Finalising a deal a about the location for the future TM Observatory is taking much more time than anticipated (or hoped for…). Nevertheless, the Management Team is in ongoing discussions with both private landholders and the council to find a solution for this exciting project. Locations are being considered, but it is obvious that this is not easy given the diversity of requirements for a suitable location. Not only does it need to fit existing zoning and building limitations, but also access and other infrastructure needs have to be addressed. On top of that a location needs to be dark enough, away from too much light pollution.
The good news is that the support of the community is overwhelming, not only verbally, but also in the fund raising.
We are convinced that the project will be a success as soon as a location has been secured. We are all working very hard, and in very positive and optimistic mood, to realize this dream.

28 July Lunar eclipse: wake up early!

Essential times for the Lunar eclipse on 28 July 2018, which will be the longest lunar eclipse of the century. We hope for good weather and a wonderful crowd at the hang glider site on this Saturday morning.
– 3.15 am: Start of the eclipse, penumbra begins. In this stage the moon goes through the faintest part of the earth’s shadow.
– 4.24 am: Partial begins. The moon goes into the dark shadow of the earth: the start of the ‘real’ eclipse.
– 5.30 am: full eclipse begins; moon fully covered by the earth’s shadow and turns red
– 6.21 am: maximum eclipse
– 6.35 am: moon sets, disappears below the horizon. The sun rises at this time as well.
Take binoculars, a telescope and/or camera…. and warm clothes because it can and will be cold!

The Dish and more: fun at the Zamia Theatre

On 19 May, 7.30pm TM Universe and the Film Club organise at the Zamia Theatre a special evening, screening one of Australia’s most iconic movies, The Dish, as well as and a French hand coloured movie from 1902 about a trip to the moon. Don’t worry about the language though…. it is a silent movie, which is, by the way, still considered ‘a classic’ in global film history and in France always makes it into the top 100 best movies ever. The evening starts 7pm for a 7.30 start; entrance fee $ 10. No bookings required.The evening starts 7pm for 7.30; entrance fee $ 10. No bookings required.

After costs the proceeds go to TM Universe, thanks to the generosity of the TM Little Theatre Group, the Film Club and Jennifer McConaghy.

Coffee and tea will be for sale at the counter, a raffle will be held and between the two movies you will be informed about the progress of the rebuilding of the former TM Observatory.
As we will be seated at tables you are invited to take food and drinks if you wish so.

More details about the project on Facebook ( and on this website. We are also looking for a few volunteers for that night…. volunteering saves you the entrance fee (volunteers call 55454398)

A lot is happening behind the screens

TM Universe is now fully established and registered as an organisation; management meetings take place every second week; the first General meeting will soon be called.
The main activities still take place ‘behind the screens’: finalising the land lease agreement in a way that leaves open the door for enough funding-opportunities. We are working with John Penglis, the Council and other relevant people and organisations to get the best outcome for everyone.
In addition, we have started in ‘low profile fashion’ the Buy a Block fund raiser. To make sure that you will be included, consider contributing now:
On 19 May, 7.30pm TM Universe and the Film Club will organise a special evening for our project, screening The Dish and a silent movie about a ‘journey to the moon’. Entrance fee $ 10 for TM Universe.
Managed by our MC member Craig Napier we are also organising an online contest focused on the Lunar eclipse. Children are invited to submit their art related to the sun moon and earth. The contest will end just before a special event on 28 July – when the eclipse will take place.
A special Auction is also on the agenda; a date has still to be set.
If you haven’t bought a block yet: do it now!
And if you are interested to become actively involved, please go to the Support Team page.

Buy a Block at TM Show

Finally: the TM Universe fundraiser “Buy a Block” will be launched at the TM Show, this Saturday 17 March, at the Showgrounds. 200 blocks, which will used to construct the future observatory, are ‘for sale’ for sponsorship. You can buy right now, and get your name, your family, business, group, school or team on the Honour Board of 200, which will be on display in the future Science Centre and – right now – on the TM Universe website.
13 Blocks have already been sold!

All information at