Does Santa travel faster than light?

Date: 11/11/2002

Astronomers from the University of Western Sydney will be on hand to answer questions about the 'Star of Bethlehem', the possibility of travelling faster than light and black holes, as part of a Christmas astronomy night on Friday, November 15, 2002, from 8pm to 10pm at Nepean Observatory, Werrington.

Several large and small telescopes, supplied by the members of the Western Sydney Amateur Astronomical Group, will be used to view many spectacular stellar objects that are visible during summer, such as the craters of the moon and Neptune.

The Director of Nepean Observatory, Dr Ragbir Bhathal encourages primary schools and parents to bring children along.

"The seeds of many scientific careers have been sown after viewing the majestic heavens through a telescope," Dr Bhathal says.

"Some of Australia's most famous scientists such as Professor Suzanne Cory, the Director of the Walter and Eliza Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, have pursued a career in science after witnessing the wonders of the night sky through a telescope."

For those considering buying a telescope for a Christmas present, Dr Bhathal advises checking the suitability of telescopes with astronomers who actually use them.

"This is a great opportunity for people to talk to astronomers about the advantages and disadvantages of various telescopes before rushing into a purchase," Dr Bhathal explains.

"Although we do not sell telescopes, we are happy to explain the different features of the telescopes and what you get for your money."

The cost of the evening is $10 adult and $5 child/concession. For more information please contact Roslyn McCourt on 02 47360135 on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday from 9am to 1 pm or email The astronomy night will be cancelled if the weather is cloudy or raining.

Location: University of Western Sydney, Penrith Campus (Werrington North), Nepean Observatory. Turn left off the Great Western Highway, Werrington (travelling east).


Media contact: Suzie Vlaming, Senior Media Officer, 02 9678 7429, 0414 308 701,