Farm Cove Observatory 

        Pakuranga, Auckland, New Zealand

     Long: E 174 53' 39"  Lat: S 36 53' 43" 

                    IAU Obs Code E85



02 June, 2016


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 OJ287 Light Curve

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Report a NZ Fireball         In MS Word - 50k


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Jennie McCormick


2009 SA1

On Sept 16, 2009  I stumbled upon a new asteroid, ~19.5, moving through Aquarius. Some of the story can be found here Eastern Courier.

Update SA1

While updating The Sky software at the beginning of May 2015, we find 2009 SA1 has now a designated  number (386622).  From now i can propose a name  for this asteroid by sending the IAU Committee on Small Body Nomenclature
my name suggestion.
Since the beginning of 2010 I have had a name in mind for this rock and mentioned the name during a number of media reports, however things change
Stay tuned for the final offical name of

386622 2009 SA1.

Farm Cove Observatory (FCO)

Weather Now



Blazer OJ287 in Cancer Since 2006, FCO has been making regular magnitude measures on a binary blackhole system, known as OJ287. In 2006, the BAA conducted an observing campign on this object hoping to catch the system in outburst. FCO contributed data throughout the campign A complete and up to date light curve of FCO data Here Last updated 27/04/2016 UT
OJ287 at its brightest since FCO started making magnitude measures in 2006
For Further information regarding this object see Sky and Telescope
Pic Credit - S&T: Gregg Dinderman

Farm Cove Observatory (FCO) is a privately owned and operated observatory conducting astronomical research for the Centre for Backyard Astrophysics (CBA), Microlensing Follow Up Network (MicroFUN) at The Ohio State University Astronomy Department and regular comet and asteroid astrometry.


FCO was built in 1999 and sits on the western side of the Wakaaranga reserve which is a tributary of the Tamaki River. The observatory gets its name from Farm Cove, an eastern suburb of Auckland, New Zealand some 25kms from the heart of the Auckland city centre.  Auckland boasts three harbours, two mountain ranges, 48 volcanic cones and more than 50 islands. It has a population of approximately 1.3 million and is ever increasing.

Dr Stella Kafka, Director AAVSO Visits Farm Cove

Stella Kafka the new Director of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) was in New Zealand for the 50th Year celebration of Mt John Observatory and to attend the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealands annual conference held in Lake Tekapo during the first week of May.  Stella gave a number of inspiring talks to both professional and amateur astronomers during her visit  to New Zealand . She would like to encourage those interested in variable star observation to take a look at what the AAVSO has to offer. If you are wanting to get started in variable star observing but not quite sure how to go about it, the AAVSO offers mentor programmes and online tutorials to all their members. It was lovely to have her take time out of her busy schedule to visit the observatory at Farm Cove.

New Dome for Farm Cove Observatory

I would like to thank Prof Han Cheongh and Chungbuk National University in Korea for sponsoring the new Observatory Dome which was installed on 16/11/2012 at
Farm Cove Observatory.

This dome was designed, built and installed by Kiwidomes, Whangarei, NZ. It is a 2.4m lightweight fibre glass dome with a 690mm viewing slot.  My thanks to Terry and his team for an efficent and quality installation.  To contact Terry, phone: 09 436 2536 or Email

Important Acknowledgments

I wish to acknowledge Prof Andy Gould and all the MicroFUN team at The Ohio State University Astronomy Dept,  Prof Joe Patterson from the Centre for Backyard Astrophysics, Prof Han Cheongh from Chungbuk National Universty in Korea, the Royal Astronomical Society of NZ and the Auckland Astronomical Society for their funding and support of
Farm Cove Observatory.




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Jennie McCormick - Farm Cove Observatory