Meet Donna the Astronomer
Gain Stargazing Insights with Donna the Astronomer…an Outback Legend
With current technology, you could hurtle through space to our nearest star, Alpha Centauri, in a mere 162,671 years.
Or, you can spend an evening on a guided tour to the Centaurus Constellation, where Alpha lives, from the comfort of the Milroy Observatory, Coonabarabran. At the observatory, you’ll be in the safe celestial hands of two-time comet discoverer Donna the Astronomer, a university qualified stargazer with insights into the cosmos that few in the outback possess.
In fact, Donna is the only astronomer featured in RM Williams 20 Great Outback Australians. If that’s not enough, she is working a PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics. She was recently awarded Order of Australia Medal for her wotk in science particularly Astronomy in the King’s Birthday honours.
Yep, chances are, Donna can answer any starry-eyed question you can dream up.
But go on… dream big and try to stump her.
Donna the Astronomer’s Personalised Services put Coonabarabran’s Dazzling Nightlife on display.
- Group Experience
- Dark Sky Tourism
- Speaking Engagement
Ever since I was a child, space has fascinated me. To the kid I was back then, space held mysteries and shadows and the unexplained. It kept me up at night, held me in its gaze and led me to the career I love. Several degrees and a PhD later, there is still more to learn. It seems the more I understand, the more questions unfold. I’ve always been full of whys, whens, whats and hows. I must’ve driven my parents around the twist.
These days, I’m lucky to do what I love most, demystify space for those seeking her answers, beauty and excitement. You see, if you know where to look and what to look for, space truly is an enchanting storyteller. It tells the tale of our travels right back to the beginning of time with the Big Bang.
And there can’t be a better place on earth to view space than Coonabarabran, near Warrumbungles Dark Sky Park in outback NSW. With reliable weather patterns and low-to-no interfering earthly light, you can visit the Milroy Observatory, gaze at the night sky and become awe-struck like I still am all these years later.
Nothing gives me a greater thrill than helping others learn to love space as I do. I take that back. No one will ever love space like me.
But let’s see how close we can get you…
Growing up in the Australian outback, Donna was enchanted by its ever-changing skies.
As an avid admirer of celestial wonders, she is keen to tell all about it – from schools and astronomical organisations through to seniors groups and cruise ship audiences!
Recently appointed as an Australia Day Ambassador she has travelled to Lachlan Shire in 2022 and Narromine Shire in 2023 to share her story of ‘What it means to be an Australian’ her passion for astronomy has also been acknowledged with a feature in The 2019 RM Williams Great Australian magazine and ‘Classic Agenda Heroes’ book amongst other classic heroes.
She is a highly qualified individual, having acquired several credentials in the fields of computing, mathematics, astronomy and physics. Her educational journey culminated with her achieving both an MSc Research-Astrophysics degree and undertaking a PhD Astronomy & Astrophysics from the University of Southern Queensland.
Donna has an impressive resume, though her most remarkable accomplishment was discovering a comet in 2016 and then again in 2017. This resulted in 2010 in NASA’s WISE spacecraft releasing a photo of the comet with ANU and the media recognizing Donna as the first Australian woman to make such a discovery – making it known worldwide! She realised this news only after a few years and just found it amusing due to its being her second successful celestial find.
That’s not all that she can do; if you’re planning amazing events either online or offline with participants needing fascinating insights on astronomy-related topics then look no further than Donna. Not only is she involved with The Skype A Scientist Program but also the International group Astronomers without Borders – both devoted towards the promotion of science literacy globally.
Whether your business is about incorporating night sky tourism for customers or something else entirely, staying connected with Donna will prove rewarding by cutting through astronomical jargon and getting straight into helpful solutions catering your needs precisely!