Where? Latitude 37° 42' 56.2" S, Longitude 145° 10' 02.3" E, height above MSL 100 m. That places the observatory in Eltham, a leafy outer suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
What? The observatory's main instrumentation is a 0.41 m RCOS Ritchey-Chrétien reflecting telescope with an Apogee U9 CCD camera. And no, you can’t look through the telescope: it’s a huge camera, really.
Why? For the tremendous satisfaction and fascination of studying the stars. My main research activity is the photometry (brightness and colour measurements) of variable stars. Their brightness may vary in just minutes, as they pulsate, rotate around each other in pairs, or explode. Careful measurement yields deep insights into the astrophysical processes going on inside and between stars, and their evolution. Stars are laboratories whose extreme conditions cannot be duplicated on Earth, but which we can study from our backyards. Amateur astronomers can capture, measure and analyse this photometric data with commonly available equipment, and publish the results in scientific journals or contribute to vital data archives.