Year: 2012

Daily cosmobite: weather satellite anniversary

November 23, 2012

Nick Lomb
NASA launched one of the earliest weather satellites TIROS 2 on this day in 1960. Its name stood for Television and InfraRed Observation Satellite as it had two television cameras and two infrared detectors for observing clouds and atmospheric phenomena.

Daily cosmobite: where do stars get their energy?

November 22, 2012

Nick Lomb
Stars create energy in their central regions by nuclear reactions. Hydrogen nuclei come together to form helium nuclei. This process is called fusion and can only take place because of the huge pressures and temperatures of over ten million degrees Celsius at the centres of stars.

Harry notes extremely fine detail during the emergence of sunspot group AR11584

November 21, 2012

Nick Lomb
Sketches of the emergence of sunspot group AR11584. On the left hand side in hydrogen alpha – the red light emitted by hydrogen atoms, while the right hand side shows observations in white light. Sketch and copyright Harry Roberts ©, all rights reserved Watching sunspots evolve is endless fun - it also tells us much about their magnetic structure and some of what’s happening below the surface.

Daily cosmobite: the Water Carrier

November 21, 2012

Nick Lomb
The zodiac constellation of Aquarius the Water Carrier is very high in the north-west in the early evening. Old star maps usually show it as a figure emptying a jar of water into the mouth of a nearby constellation, Piscis Austrinus the Southern Fish.

Total eclipse of 14 November 2012 from Palm Cove

November 20, 2012

Nick Lomb
Total eclipse as seen from Palm Cove beach, North Queensland. Picture Nick Lomb The weather forecast was not good: clouds and rain were forecast for the North Queensland coastline for the morning of the eagerly awaited total eclipse on Wednesday 14 November 2012.

Daily cosmobite: the Swordfish

November 20, 2012

Nick Lomb
Dorado the Swordfish is a faint constellation in the south-east in the early evening. It is just above the bright star Canopus. Like Tucana the Toucan it is distinguished only because it contains one of the most famous objects in the southern sky, the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Daily cosmobite: the dwarf planet Pluto

November 19, 2012

Nick Lomb
The object named Pluto is no longer regarded as a planet but has been relegated to the status of a dwarf planet. As one of the minor bodies in the solar system it has been assigned a number, 134340, which is to be used in addition to the name.

Daily cosmobite: meteor shower

November 17, 2012

Nick Lomb
The Leonid meteor shower that occurs at this time each year is one of the most famous as on occasions it has produced meteor storms with large numbers of meteors. This year is highly unlikely to be one of those occasions, but still the Moon is out of the way so it may be worth having a look early on Sunday morning.

Daily cosmobite: Mars and the Moon

November 16, 2012

Nick Lomb
The red planet Mars can be seen in the western sky each evening after dusk. It is no longer exceptionally bright as it was earlier in the year and now appears like a reasonably bright and slightly reddish star.

Daily cosmobite: zodiac constellations

November 15, 2012

Nick Lomb
These are the constellations the Sun passes in front of during the year. Looking from west to east in the early evening the following zodiac constellations are visible: Scorpius, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries and part of Taurus.

Daily cosmobite: eclipse!

November 14, 2012

Nick Lomb
Early this morning (14 November 2012) people in the vicinity of Cairns in Queensland have the opportunity, clouds permitting, to view a total eclipse of the Sun. In one of Nature’s greatest spectacles the Moon covers the disc of the Sun so that its faint outer atmosphere, the corona, becomes visible.

How to view tomorrow’s Solar Eclipse on-line

November 13, 2012

Toner Stevenson
The Sunrise Solar Eclipse on Wednesday 14 November is visible, weather permitting, in totality from Northern Queensland. Times for the eclipse in Cairns(AEST) are : 5:45am eclipse begins,  6:40am totality, 7:41 Eclipse ends.