Venus and the crescent Moon were in close proximity in the western sky on the evening of Sunday 27 November 2011. Image and copyright Nick Lomb ©, all rights reserved On 6 June 2012 Venus will cross in front of the Sun for the second time in recent memory.
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A sketch and a photo of the Aristarchus region on the Moon. Sketch: Image and copyright Harry Roberts ©, all rights reserved Photo: Jean Luc DAUVERGNE, Philippe TOSI and Elie ROUSSET, IMCCE/SP2/Obs MIDI Pyrénées Secretly perhaps, many of us who point a ‘scope at the Moon hope to see some unexplained transient event – a TLP or transient lunar phenomenon (LTP for Americans, I believe).
Many sunspots are visible in this image of the Sun from the Solar Dynamics Observatory taken on 9 November 2011. Courtesy SDO/HMI Today we are fairly knowledgeable about the Sun. We know that sunspots come and go on the Sun with a period of approximately 11 years and that spots are regions of intense magnetic fields.
Time-lapse video of the sky above the Anglo-Australian Telescope at Siding Spring filmed by Ángel Rafael López-Sánchez. Courtesy Australian Astronomical Observatory, Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research The Anglo-Australian Telescope is located at Siding Spring near Coonabarabran in NSW.
In 2012, on 5 or 6 June (depending on location) people across the globe will have the opportunity to witness one of the most famous of astronomical events, a rare transit of Venus. This event takes place when, as seen from Earth, Venus crosses in front of the Sun.
A fascinating book to guide your exploration of the southern night sky The 'Australasian sky guide book' is written by astronomer, Dr Nick Lomb, and produced annually by Sydney Observatory. Each edition contains a wealth of information for keen stargazers, and includes monthly information for 13 months from December to December, inclusive.
A sketch of the giant sunspot group AR11339 on the morning of 6 November 2011 (EDT). Image and copyright Harry Roberts ©, all rights reserved We earlier viewed this very large spot group as it began to move from the east limb onto the disc - noting that NOAA first assigned it magnetic class beta-gamma-delta on the November 3 (Universal Date).
From 7pm, Saturday 31 December 2011
A Members-only opportunity to celebrate New Year at Sydney Observatory.
Sunspot group AR11339 peeks around the eastern edge of the Sun on 2 November 2011 in this image from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. Credit SDO/HMI The first view of a truly big spot group arriving unexpectedly at the eastern limb is one of solar astronomy’s great rewards – and AR11339 is a very big group.
10am – 5pm, 26 January 2012
Celebrate Australia Day on Observatory HIll, view Sydney Harbour activities and enjoy astronomical programs.
The heritage-listed Shine dome of the Australian Academy of Sciences has been lit up at night since Friday 27 October 2011. Image courtesy Australian Academy of Science On Friday 27 October 2011 the Australian Academy of Sciences circulated a media release titled, ‘Shine Dome lights up tonight’ and beginning ‘The Australian Academy of Science’s heritage-listed Shine Dome will light up from tonight; joining other landmark Canberra buildings shining out in a display of colour.’ I and a number of other people were immediately concerned about this media release.
Jupiter and its volcanic moon Io imaged by the New Horizons spacecraft on 28 February 2007. Courtesy NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Goddard Space Flight Center A recent post on this blog announced that the second annual Kepler Cup was to be run at 12 noon on Melbourne Cup Day, 1 November 2011.
To help you learn about the southern night sky, Sydney Observatory provides an audio guide/podcast, transcript of that audio, and a sky map or chart each month. This month's audio sky guide is presented by Melissa Hulbert, one of the astronomy educators at Sydney Observatory.
The planets are jockeying for position before the Kepler Cup on 1 November 2011. Image manipulation Nick Lomb. Original image Harman Smith and Laura Generosa NASA from Wikimedia In 2011 as always, the race that stops a nation, the Melbourne Cup, is to be run on the first Tuesday in November, that is on the first of the month.
The ROSAT X-ray space telescope is due to re-enter Earth's atmosphere over the coming weekend (22-23 October, 2011). Dr Martin Anderson, Astronomy Educator at Sydney Observatory, writes about his experience using ROSAT.