Year: 2014

Daily cosmobite: Moon near Uranus

November 5, 2014

The Moon passes the planet Uranus today as seen from Australian skies. That's not so unusual, but this time observers in the icy north - Greenland and Iceland - will see the Moon occult, or cover, the ice giant Uranus.

Daily cosmobite: Constellation Pegasus, the Winged Horse

November 4, 2014

Pegasus, the Winged Horse, is prominent in the northern sky at present. At first sight it appears simply as a very large square, but closer inspection reveals its head and fore legs.  The square is about a hand-span in size, with your hand held at arm's length.

Daily cosmobite: First ever images of a nova explosion

November 3, 2014

Nova Delphini appeared in our skies in 2013 when material falling onto a white dwarf star from its companion red giant exploded in a thermonuclear fireball. The expanding fireball was beautifully captured in these first ever images made by the CHARA array, an optical interferometer.

Daily Cosmobite: The Halloween Hole – Looking out of the Milky Way

October 30, 2014

In Spring evenings the Milky Way forms a ring around the horizon, as seen from Australia. At midnight on Halloween look up (or is it down?) and you have a clear view to the universe. Out there countless galaxies hurtle away from you in the expanding universe and far away is the cosmic background radiation - the residual glow of the Big Bang.

Daily Cosmobite: Centenary of Sir David Gill’s death

October 29, 2014

Sir David Gill died in 1914. Among many achievements he took a photo of the "Great Comet" of 1882. The appearance of previously unseen stars in the background spurred two projects, the Astrographic Catalogue and the Carte du Ciel, to catalogue and map the entire sky using photography.

Daily Cosmobite: Moon and Mars in the west

October 28, 2014

Tonight look for the Moon and Mars in the west. At 8pm the crescent Moon will be two hand-spans (at arm's length) above the horizon with orange-red Mars a fist-width above and to the left. The Moon's light takes 1.3 seconds to reach you while light from Mars tonight takes 13.9 minutes.

Daily cosmobite: The Spare-Tyre nebula in Grus

October 27, 2014

Constellation Grus contains the "Spare-Tyre" nebula, a beautiful planetary nebula. A planetary nebula is the final death-throws of a Sun-like star that has shed its outer layers in a final dying gasp.

27-11- 14 Astronomy for teachers: a minds-on workshop!

October 26, 2014

Hone your astronomy skills on Thursday 27 November, 6 to 8:30pm, by participating in this workshop designed for teachers. The evening includes viewing through Sydney Observatory’s large telescope in the dome and a small portable telescope will be used to familiarise teachers with this technology and each teacher will receive a planisphere (star map) and shown how to use this and much more…

Sunspot almost outshines eclipse

October 24, 2014

Today marked the start of the Solar Eclipse Conference 2014 in New Mexico. The first two days of the four day conference focus on education and are being hosted by the Sacramento Peak Observatory. In the morning we heard from Ralph Chou on eclipse safety and some of the new statistics on eye damage caused by not properly observing the Sun and Fred Espenak who spoke about what he has learned over many years of eclipse chasing, some of the do's and don’ts with imaging.

Daily cosmobite: Today’s eclipse and Saros 153

October 24, 2014

The appearance of eclipses is governed by the Saros cycle, a long sequence of eclipses occurring at 18 year intervals. Today's eclipse is part of Saros 153 and many cycles are in play at any one time.

24 Oct 2014 Daily cosmobite : Partial solar eclipse

October 23, 2014

A partial solar eclipse occurs on the morning of Friday October 24, 2014 AEDT. It is only visible from far eastern Russia, Canada, USA and Mexico but you can view it via live streams from Griffith Observatory, LA and SLOOH. Both streams begin at 8am AEDT. Click on the heading for links.