Snake Valley Astronomical Association
The Snake Valley Astronomical Association (SVAA) is an Amateur Astronomy Club based in Snake Valley, Victoria, Australia. Established in 2005, membership of the SVAA is open to people with an interest in any form of astronomy. The SVAA currently has around 30 members (cited June 2011).
The original idea to create the SVAA was first discussed by three Snake Valley residents (Ken James, David Johnson, Anthony Baker) and the Shire Mayor (Lysette Ashford) at the 1st Snake Valley Astronomy Camp in 2005. This idea came about due to the dark sky at Snake Valley and the amount of interest shown by attendees at the Astronomy Camp. A public meeting was called in the Snake Valley Hall late in 2005 to investigate interest in the establishment of a club. Twelve people attended that event, and it was decided to go ahead. The first official meeting was held at the Snake Valley Recreation Reserve with 15 people in attendance.
The first Clubroom/Observing location was at the Recreation reserve in 2006 and was 'home' for the next two years. Then in 2008, member Ken James granted the club the use of 3 acres of his property as a Club managed location. A large donation from member Hoerst Bonkhe was forwarded to Mr. James to go towards the construction of an Observatory with the stipulation that the Observatory must be made available for club members use whilst Mr. James owns the property. Construction of a Clubroom and Observatory started immediately (Construction is still going on). During this time many other donations of Astronomy books, Telescopes, and accessories have built up into a lending library for members.
- The SVAA currently meets on a monthly basis at their own club site.
- The club also holds two Astronomy Camps each year at the nearby Snake Valley Camp.
- Members occasionally do talks and demonstrations in local Primary Schools and High Schools.
Branches of astronomy
Members of the SVAA are involved in a variety of interests within astronomy.
Visual - Many members do Visual work, which involves observing with Eyepieces.
Imaging - Members also do Astrophotography using Digital Cameras, CCD Imagers, and webcams.
Live Broadcast - currently one member does 'Live' broadcasts of Deep Space Objects on the Internet.
Radio Astronomy - is a branch of Astronomy the club is about to move into.