Year: 2012

Autumn equinox 2012 is on Tuesday 20 March

March 19, 2012

Sunset on 29 August 2005 from Sydney Observatory. At the equinox the Sun sets much further to the left or south. Photo Nick Lomb There are four turning points in the year: the summer and winter solstices and the spring and autumn equinoxes.

Old Perth Observatory: where science organised a state

March 12, 2012

I visited Old Perth Observatory, located in King’s Park on Mt Eliza, a fabulous site with park and river views, in November 2011. The site is under the custodianship of the National Trust of Western Australia and the purpose of my visit was to see what remained of the Old Perth Observatory and look for evidence of the Astrographic Catalogue work as part of broader doctoral research for The University of Sydney Museum Studies Department.

Why did James Cook sail to Tahiti?

March 7, 2012

The visibility of the 1769 transit of Venus. Map from Transits of Venus by RA Proctor, 1874. Brian Greig collection In Transit of Venus: 1631 to the present I include a series of wonderful visibility maps of each transit of Venus from 1631 to 2012 that were originally published by the British populariser of astronomy Richard Anthony Proctor in 1874.

You can enter the David Malin astrophotography competition

March 7, 2012

Your chance to enter Australia's premier astrophotography competition - The David Malin astrophotography competition Entries open on 2 April and close at midnight on Friday 15 June 2012 (AEST) The competition this year will have three sections of entry - General Section, Open Themed Section (the theme this year is 'Symmetries') and a Junior Section (18 and under).

February 29th and the long journey to become the leap day

February 28, 2012

Post by Geoffrey Wyatt Calendars are attempts to try to keep track of time by using the cycles of the Sun ad the Moon. The Sun is used via the seasons and its changing position in the sky, for example the equinoxes and solstices.

25 years since SN1987A was discovered

February 24, 2012

A particularly exciting aspect of astronomy is 'discovery'. Sitting in front of a computer, looking at telescopic data, you suddenly realise you are the first person ever to have witnessed some astronomical event.