Farm Cove Observatory 

        Pakuranga, Auckland, New Zealand

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

                    IAU Obs Code E85



26 April, 2015


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About Me

FCO Tour

CBA 2014

Microfun 2014

 FCO Cloud Sensor
 OJ287 Light Curve

Other Observations

FCO Publications

Report a NZ Fireball         In MS Word - 50k


Contact FCO


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

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 23/04/2014 UT
About the Campaign
The BAA campaign and list of observers - Here
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 some 25kms from the heart of the 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.

New Discovery Expands Search for Earth-like Planets

 Published 4th July, 2014 in 'Science'
"A Terrestrial Planet in a ~ 1AU Orbit Around one Member of
a ~ 15AU Binary

New Zealand astronomers have played an important role in the discovery of an Earth-like planet in a binary star system located 3,000 light-years from Earth. This expands astronomers’ notions of where Earth-like and even potentially habitable planets can form and how to find them.

At just twice the mass of Earth, the planet (now named OGLE-2013-BLG-0341LBb) orbits one of the stars in the binary system at almost exactly the same distance from which Earth orbits the sun. However, because the planet’s host star is much dimmer than the Sun, the planet is much colder than Earth, a little colder in fact, than Saturn's moon Titan.
Farm Cove Observatory, as part of the MicroFun team headed by Andrew Gould professor of astronomy at Ohio State University, contributed data to  this exciting discovery.

Artist impression of OGLE-2013-BLG-0341LBb by Professor Cheongho Han at Chungbuk National University Korea.
Downloadable information regarding this discovery can be found here by clicking on the following documentation below.
Science Paper
Microfun  Press Release
Auckland Stardome Observatory Press Release 
Farm Cove Observatory illustrated information A3 poster

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 and Prof Han Cheongh from Chungbuk National Universty in Korea for their support of Farm Cove Observatory.



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Jennie McCormick - Farm Cove Observatory