About AES

Astronomy Education Services (AES) is a Western Australian company dedicated to delivering a professional, up to date and entertaining public outreach and education service in the science of Astronomy.

AES is owned and operated by Richard Tonello whose experience covers over 14 years in astronomy, six of which was working for the Perth Observatory, heading their Public Outreach and Education programs.

Richard also conducts a number of astronomy courses with UWA Extensions throughout the year as well as operating an astronomy based tour venture during the school holidays at various centres in Western Australia.

Richard is also an accomplished Astro-photographer. Recently his works travelled the state during the International Year of Astronomy 2009 as a part of the Perth Observatory's IYA 2009 activities. The exhibition, entitled Celestia Photographica, is a collection of astrophotographic images taken by Richard as well as contributing astrophotographers Vic and Ben Levis. These works combine the use of both old and new technologies (traditional film, digital processing, CCD and Narrow-Band imaging) to showcase a small, yet amazing display of some of the finest objects found in our galaxy and beyond.

AES not only caters for schools, but other organizations too, such as:

* Scout Groups

* Church Groups

* Civic Groups

* Social Clubs

* Rural Tele-Centre's/ Communities

* Tourist Operators

* Corporate Functions

Education Services


AES brings the universe into your classroom. AES specialises in conducting school incursions either as a day-time, in-class lesson or an Astronomy Field Night.
Using a variety of multi-media programs and equipment, AES covers a wide variety of astronomical knowledge and provides many learning opportunities which address many of the K-10 Curriculum Framework Science Learning Outcomes as well as the new Primary Connections - Linking Science with Literacy Outcomes.

K-10 Curriculum Frame Work - Earth and Beyond;

* Atmosphere on Earth and Beyond

* Relationship between the Earth, our solar System and the Universe. (Grades 1 to 10).

Primary Connections - Linking Science with Literacy; Light Fantastic - Energy and Change plus Spinning in Space - Earth and Beyond.

Day Presentation

Duration 1 to 1.25 hours.

Limit 40 students max.per session.

AES presents a wide variety of lectures relevant to what your students are currently studying within the curriculum framework. Subjects may include;

The Sun, Earth and Moon.

* The Solar System.

* Pictures in the Night - The Constellations.

* A Star's Life Cycle - how a star is born, how it lives and how it dies.

Using a data projector and a laptop computer, exciting and dynamic presentations are made to the students with a variety of Astronomy based programs and computer simulations.

Each lecture is pitched at the correct level of understanding plus relevance to what the students have studied.

Booking is essential. Contact AES for pricing.

Astronomy Field Night

Duration 2 to 2.25 hours.

Limit 130 students (parents and siblings included) per session.

Hands-on experience is vital to learning. With a field night, students and teachers are shown, through a telescope, various objects they have learned about in the classroom.

The activities commence at dusk with an informative, yet entertaining, lecture about what can be found in the sky that evening. The duration for the talk can vary from 30 to 40 minutes after which the students and guests make their way to 4 high quality telescopes (usually set up on the school oval) to commence the nights observing.

Each telescope is pointed to different astronomical targets such as the Moon (if visible), Planets (if visible), Double Stars, Open Clusters, Globular Clusters and Nebulae (if the surrounding light pollution isn't too overwhelming).

In the event of inclement weather on the night of a scheduled field night, the institute will be contacted before 1:00pm and given the option of either canceling and re-scheduling the night or continue with a talk (1 hour duration) for a cost of $150.

Booking is essential. Contact AES for pricing.

Corporate Services

Thinking of treating your staff to something different? Or perhaps you want to impress new or existing clients?

AES can provide you, your staff and guests an evening under the stars to remember.

With AES's mobile observatory, we can provide incredible views of the night sky, along with expert commentary while you view the wonders of space.

We can also set up a Travelling Astro-Photographic Exhibition – projecting works from Celestia Photographica - A Photographic Study of our Breathtaking Universe with a laptop and data projector.

Contact AES for more information so that we can tailor a night that suits your needs.

Media Services

With experience in talking to various media outlets, AES is your first contact the next time the heavens put on an exciting show.

Whether it’s a bright meteor, a halo around the moon or a spectacular comet that graces our skies AES can provide a concise, professional and informative explanation to the phenomena.

Richard is frequently a guest on Radio 6PR with Graham Mabury and ABC Regional with John Cecil.

Contact Richard on 0417 961 357 for further information.

Astronomy Courses

UWA Extension Courses

"Meet the Stars" is a basic to intermediate level astronomy course created for anyone who is interested in becoming an amateur astronomer.

The course consists of 6 classes, 2 hours per week, plus a field night at the Perth Observatory in Bickley. The course is run three times a year (spring, summer and autumn) - bookings are essential. For more information, contact UWA Extensions

Another UWA Extension course, "Astrophotography – Scientific Art or Artistic Science" will be on offer late 2010 early 2011.

BTOW Astronomy Classes

Binocular Telescope and Optical World (BTOW) Astronomy Classes are designed for the beginner who is interested in becoming an amateur astronomer.

The course consists of 6 classes, 2 hours per week, plus a field night at the Golden Grove Observatory in Lower Chittering.

Bookings are essential through BTOW. For more information, contact Keith Williams at Binocular Telescope and Optical World (BTOW). Classes are held at the BTOW store, Holder Way, Malaga.

Courses run through out the year.

Astro Tours

During the school holidays, AES still works hard to bring the universe to you. AES conducts astronomy tours at popular holiday centres at various times of the year. This means that you and your family can come and view the wonders of the universe from the dark skies of places like Exmouth, Kalbarri and Dunsborough.

Check out the local tourist bureau for session dates.



Many thanks for coming out and speaking to the students at John XXIII today. I would like to thank you for both educating and entertaining both the staff and the year 10 students with your presentation. It was evident by the behaviour of the students that they were totally engrossed in your talk. When I spoke to a number of students afterwards, the general theme was that it was a "great talk" and you made a "boring subject really interesting". They also appreciated you sense of humour and the way in that you broke down concepts into something that they could relate to. So once again thank you, and we will definitely book you again next year.

Amanda Webb PhD

Gingin District High School

You recently gave a star gazing night at Gingin District High School. I have been congratulated for an excellent evening by a number of individuals including a letter from the P&C President who thoroughly enjoyed herself and would like you back every year. However, it was your enthusiasm, your knowledge, your professionalism and your high tech equipment that made the night enjoyable to so many and I thank you for a successful night. If other schools are looking for quality incursions that relate to the Science curriculum, specifically Earth and Beyond then Richard from Astronomy Education Services will deliver.

M. Beard - Gingin DHS

Yerecoin Primary School

What a fantastic night! The students were given an extraordinary view of our universe and some of its secret treasures. Richard was very clear in his explanations and made the most complex ideas and concepts easy to grasp for all ages (Kindergarten to Year 7). The students were enthralled! They were able to view objects such as the Jewel Box Cluster, Eta Carinae nebula and Omega Centauri. Richard was able to consolidate and revise classroom learnt concepts using an engaging interactive whiteboard presentation. This was followed up by an informative telescope session. What a brilliant resource for teaching Earth & Beyond - We’ll definitely have you back!

Ocean Reef Primary School

The feedback from last weeks field night was fantastic and everybody wants to do it again.  Well done on providing a great night's entertainment.  I will get in touch early next year and organise a time for June/July so that we can look at the really interesting stuff.

Kevin Easther
Deputy Principal
Ocean Reef Primary School

Comments from Dalwallinu AFN

"If he's teaching at Uni, his students must be mesmerized!"

"We all had a wonderful night touring the heavens with you."

"It was great! I didn't know the sky was so big!".

Exmouth Astro-Busking Nights

"An interesting and informative night and well worth the time and money." - Heather J.

"Very informative - I enjoyed it very much. There is a hell of a lot Rick knows." - Bill M.

"Informative, interesting lots of information, beautiful to look at - well done! " - Lisa F.

"Very informative, lots of information and highly educational - thanks! " - Grant W.

"Great night! Really enjoyed it!" - Soshana C.

"A great look at the stars and a great look at different types of telescopes." - William B.

"Such an exciting and passionate communicator - you make something so complex so easy to understand!" - Linda S.

"Awesome, truly awesome! You explain it so well! Good sense of humor too!" - Steph M.

"Such Passion and enthusiasm! I want a telescope too!" - Anne T.


For more information contact:

Rick Tonello

Address: PO Box 271, DIANELLA, WA 6059

Phone: 0417 961 357

Email: Email

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