About the author

This website is maintained by Paul Floyd. I would describe myself best as a passionate amateur astronomer with 25 years experience (as at 2015) in running a range of education and public astronomy outreach activities.

April 2012: I have just finished a simulated walk on Mars at the Victorian Space Science Education Centre.

Contact details

Email: paul.floyd@nightskyonline.info

Note that you are able to make a comment directly on each blog page.

Professional background

I am currently a primary school teacher with an active interest (and experience) in the teaching of science and technology in Primary schools. This includes the use of the Australian Academy of Science’s Primary Connections units. I trained as a ‘Primary Connections Facilitator’ with the Australian Academy of Science in October 2010. Where possible, I provide astronomy experiences for the school students I work with (such as organising star nights or daytime visits in a planetarium).

A 'selfie' with a Starlab planetarium during National Science Week 2014. Thanks to Questacon for the loan of the planetarium for my school.

A ‘selfie’ with a Starlab planetarium during National Science Week 2014. Thanks to Questacon for the loan of the planetarium for my school.

Prior to beginning work as as a school teacher in 2002, I ran my own education business (detailed below under the ‘Astronomy Education Activities) plus worked as an environmental education and outdoor education instructor on a casual basis with a range of organisations.

I have two separate degrees – one in recreation management in planning and a second in primary teaching.

World Wide Web Outreach

As of January 2015, I have been providing astronomy information via the WWW for eighteen years.

This website was originally established in January 1997 to provide astronomy information to schools I visited through a business called Southern Star Education. The website (originally hosted at www.ozskywatch.com) was rated 9/10 by New Scientist magazine in November 2002. The site was moved to its current URL in October 2008.

In March 2015, this site was archived by Pandora (Australia’s web archive). This occurred thanks to the State Library of Queensland nominating the site as a Queensland ‘website of lasting significance’. This is particularly exciting for me as I feel it is recognition for the effort that I have put into creating original content to go on the site. It means that the educational resources I have created will be freely available to schools and community groups into the indefinite future (and long after I cease paying to host the site!).

Astronomy Education Activities

For six years and a half years, I operated an education service in South East Queensland (trading as Southern Star Education – now closed) providing portable planetarium programmes to over 31,000 school and adult participants (1993 – 2000). The service visited schools from the Gold Coast through Brisbane through to the Sunshine Coast.

As part of my promotional activities for this now closed business, I initiated the running of Australia’s first astronomy education conference (in conjunction with the Brisbane Astronomical Society) targeting primary and secondary teachers in 1994. This conference eventually became the Queensland Astronomy Education Conference and was convened seven times between 1994 and 2012. An article summarising the 1994 – 2012 history of  the Queensland Astronomy Education Conference can be downloaded here: QAEC_article (PDF file format).

In late May 2012, I was lucky enough to be invited to take part in a live national webcast from Questacon (Australia’s National Science and Technology Centre) on the 2012 Transit of Venus. If you are interested, you can watch that presentation here on Youtube.

Setting up my iOptron 60 Solar Telescope on 14 November 2012 to webcast the total solar eclipse from Clifton Beach, Far North Queensland.

On 14 November 2012, I traveled to Far North Queensland to webcast the total solar eclipse (my first and it was amazing).

Copyright information

This website has been created by Paul Floyd from material produced by a variety of organisations and individuals as well as original material produced by Paul Floyd.

Material produced by organisations and individuals are clearly labelled as such. In some cases, some material has been released into the public domain and that organisation retains no copyright over that material (NASA is the prime example of this). Please contact me if I am incorrectly displaying material on this site and/or without the original authors permission, and I will remove it if required.

Material I (Paul Floyd) have produced is copyright (c) to Paul Floyd and may only be reproduced within the guidelines listed on that material.