Year: 2012

Emily’s eventful view of the Southern Cross

February 23, 2012

  I am new to Sydney Observatory, as I only started interning in the beginning of January.  I hail from Chicago,Illinois right in the middle of Midwest America. Directly west of Chicago is the Mississippi River, on which sits my university, Augustana College (Augie).  I’m here studying/working abroad in Sydney, and frankly, I am loving life.  Right now, normally I would be in the middle of winter, walking to class through snow in -20° Celsius (-5° Fahrenheit in my terms) weather with biting winds.  Needless to say, I much prefer the (somewhat) sunny Australian summer weather this time of year.

Harry is disappointed by the placid demeanour of the giant sunspot group AR 11416

February 22, 2012

Three views of sunspot group AR1146. Image and copyright Harry Roberts ©, all rights reserved AR 11416 first appeared in the sun’s SE quadrant on Feb 8 around 16:00 UT, as a small grey pore with a magnetic field of 1500G; just 24h later it was a cluster of maybe a dozen spots with two compact penumbral spots preceding (p) – an impressive rate of development.

Are transits and the rotation of Venus linked?

February 21, 2012

The orbits of Venus and the Earth looking from above. Drawing Nick Lomb Lionel asks: Congratulations on your Venus book. Excellent. I notice that there is a 243 year cycle for Transits of Venus 243 x 365.242 = 224.7 x 395 So far so good.

How Cook navigated to Tahiti

February 6, 2012

A sextant built by the English instrument maker Matthew Berge. Courtesy Powerhouse Museum I have received a letter from Jonathan Milne-Fowler, Lieutenant-Commander RANR (Retired) regarding my book Transit of Venus: 1631 to the present.

George the Speaking Clock told the time on the telephone

February 1, 2012

An Australian Post Office film about the arrival of the first automatic speaking clocks in Sydney and Melbourne in 1954. Thank you to vk3ase for finding and posting this film on YouTube Today everything is small and electronic.

The 1874 transit from Down Under: continued

January 26, 2012

HC Russell’s observations at the end of the transit as seen from Sydney Observatory. Photo lithograph from Observations of the Transit of Venus, 9 December, 1874. Powerhouse Museum Research Library In the previous post I considered the preparations of Henry Chamberlain Russell, the director of Sydney Observatory, for the 1874 transit and the magnificent illustrated book that he published on the event.