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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sydney Observatory’s fourth Solar Eclipse tour (previous eclipse tours included Woomera, Russia and Easter Island) has begun with another spectacularly successful viewing of the Moon eclipsing the Sun on 14 November 2012.
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.
The stream has now concluded. .
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.
Diagram indicating the geometry of eclipses. The Sun is to the left out of view. Diagram Nick Lomb As the Moon circles the Earth, once a month (synodic) it is in the same direction as the Sun. This is called the phase of new Moon.