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  • welcome to

    macarthur astronomical society

  • observe

    Astronomers use scientific observation to learn about the Universe we live in. It's a beautiful place and, as a group of keen amateur astronomers, M.A.S. members have it as their common interest. We observe from two southern Sydney locations.

  • photograph

    Along with our "visual" observers, we have a group of dedicated astrophotographers within our ranks. This group find that photographing deep sky objects with high-quality cameras brings out the colour which your own eyes are unable to detect. See our photographs and you'll want to take your own.

  • educate

    Come to a Macarthur Astronomy Forum evening, held at UWS Campbelltown, to hear talks given by Australian and international professional astronomers as well as from amateurs with interests in their own specific fields. Entry is free for all.

  • events

    M.A.S. members are deeply committed to sharing our combined knowledge of, and love for, the night sky and the science of astronomy. We hold public open nights during the year - keep watching out for "What's On".


Macarthur Astronomical Society

Patron:  Professor Geraint Lewis (University of Sydney)


MAS Logo 2009

macarthur astronomy forum logo transparent2


 We are amateur astronomers based in the Macarthur Region of South West Sydney, Australia.


We organise the monthly Macarthur Astronomy Forum and run observing sessions for members, for the public and for community organisations.


2018 12 03 Stargard Silhouette Small

 For details, please visit our News and Events page




Robert Bee


Bob Bee


"Heavens Above"


It was with great sadness that MAS President, John Rombi, announced today (3rd Aug) that one of our founding members, a great friend and a passionate astronomer, Bob Bee has passed. Bob's DNA is written all over MAS and we are broken-hearted to lose him. He played such a huge part in establishing the Society. 1996 seems such a long time ago!

He joined the inaugural MAS Management Committee in February 1996 - one month after the Society was founded - and remained until he concluded a year as Secretary in 2008. He was one of a small leadership group which guided the embryonic MAS towards being the great Society which it is today.

Bob never stopped talking about astronomy. He never stopped writing about it either.

He was an accomplished astronomy communicator and an impressive ambassador for MAS, giving astronomy talks to the many community groups which asked him. He always excelled at public nights, where his voice could often be overheard explaining intricate information to an enthralled audience.

He was editor of MAS "Prime Focus" magazine - almost single-handedly writing, editing and publishing monthly editions from 1996 before handing over the reins in 2007.

Bob's regular column, "Heavens Above", for the Macarthur Chronicle inspired many in the Macarthur region to look up at the night sky - and attracted some to also join MAS. When the Chronicle ceased publishing "Heavens Above" after more than a decade, Bob persuaded the Macarthur Advertiser to publish instead.

Our website section for members articles is dominated by Bob, who contributed an astonishing ninety articles and short stories, many of which have received thousands of hits. They will continue to be available to members and the public for a long time to come.

He authored two amateur astronomy books and at least one children's story book. His first book, also called "Heavens Above" is out of print and his second work, "Star Hopping to the Messiers" is nearly sold out.

The last time I met Bob was at the February Forum with Fred Watson - the last Forum held before covid came along - and there was clearly something wrong. That night he handed me his entire collection of Prime Focus magazine to archive on behalf of the Society. It was distressing to learn a few weeks later that he had terminal illness.

He joined us for the last time at the online Forum in June. The news that Bob had died on 3rd August has saddened his many, many friends here at MAS. I am informed that our great friend died peacefully and painlessly overnight at home. He will be fondly remembered by us all. All members will offer their love & support for Marion (Bob's wife) and his children & family.

"Heavens Above"  -  that was the name used by Bob for his newspaper columns and also his first astronomy book.

We'll all miss him down here.

Roger Powell

  Image credit Frank Kaiser-Lauterbach

Prime Focus Magazine

Download the July-August copy here

PRIMEfocus july 2020




Have you read these astronomy themed short stories, written by founder member Bob Bee?


Members Photography

Please note: all images are © the photographer


Lagoon Nebula M8

Dave Manning


Trifid Nebula M20

Greg Bradford


Caldwell 109

Roger Powell



Messier 83

Dave Manning


Milky Way

Craig Elson


Eta Carina Nebula

Dave Manning







 Please visit our News & Events page for activity details 


 MAS supports the mission of the Australian Dark Sky Alliance






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