About me




My name is Andras Hidas.  I have been interested in astronomy ever since the age of 10 when our next door neighbour,  back in the old country, where the Big Dipper dominates the northern skies, told me about the moon, planets, the solar system, the stars and the Milky Way.  He also lent me a serious textbook which I tried to read cover to cover about stars, globular clusters and galaxies without a lot of understanding. But I was gripped. A few years later, in Australia, where the Southern Cross is high in the sky, I was in high school when I borrowed Prof Bart J. Bok’s The Astronomers Universe from the school library. I confess here and now that I still have that book with CHRISTIAN BROTHERS’ LIBRARY, ALBURY stamped on it. It served me as standard astronomy text for years. What finally captured me for astronomy was watching the TV telecast from Sydney University of the famous Summer Science School organised by Prof Harry Messel with guest lecturers George Gamow, Herman Bondi and Thomas Gold in 1960.  Basically these people were the fathers of modern cosmology. There was also that entertainer Prof Julius Sumner Miller.  I soon purchased a pair of standard issue 7x50 binoculars and was blown away by the summer Milky Way viewed from the dark skies around Cotter Dam  near Mt Stromlo in the ACT. I was going to be an astronomer but cool heads persuaded me that if I didn’t want to starve I should study engineering. The itch stayed however and I soon built my 1st telescope and observatory in a rented back yard in the Sydney suburb of Concord.  It was a 8 inch Newtonian built from scratch,  Pyrex blank, Cerium Oxide, classic grinding table consisting of a water filled 44 gallon drum,  fibreglass tube, Foucult testing etc. with most of the components coming from that iconic Australian company Astro Optical Supplies .   Sadly it has recently ceased trading.


Concord observatory


The student years were followed by marriage, kids and move to a home unit where the only astronomy possible was of the armchair variety reading Sky & Telescope magazine. Fast forward past a career in engineering (electronics, IT, Internet) and it was time to indulge.


With kids gone and the dream still alive, instead of downsizing, purchased a Celestron C14 in 1992 and when the opportunity presented itself we purchased a 35 acre ‘wilderness’ property on the northern fringes of the Sydney metropolitan area about 35km from the CBD.  My unfortunate wife still does not realise that the main selection criterion for the block we were buying was its suitability as a dark sky (relatively speaking) observatory site.


Recent personal accomplishment the acquisition of a Master of Science (Astronomy) degree from Swinburne   University via their Swinburne Astronomy Online (SAO) course.      



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