The constellation Grus, the Crane, is high overhead at present. It first appeared on a celestial globe by Petrus Plancius in 1598. It is one of nine celestial birds but it looks more like a scimitar to me.
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Today Edward Gough Whitlam AC QC, Prime Minister for Australia from 1972 to 1975, has died at the age of 98. Gough Whitlam was a scholar, a social reformer and he acted on his passion for Australians to shake off our cultural cringes and narrow mindedness and make our own future.
The Orionids meteor shower reaches its peak on October 20 or 21. The meteors are caused by dust from Halley's comet entering our atmosphere. Look for them after midnight from a dark place. Orion is in the north-east sky at 2am in mid-October.
Comet Siding Spring, C/2013 A1, passes close by Mars today at a distance of about 140,000km. Comet Siding Spring was discovered with the Uppsala Schmidt telescope at Siding Spring Observatory on January 3, 2013.
Today the innermost planet, Mercury, passes between Earth and the Sun. This is referred to as an "inferior conjunction". It will next be visible into the pre-dawn sky at the end of this month. The Messenger spacecraft continues to monitor Mercury.
The Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT), Australia's largest optical telescope, was officially opened 40 years ago on October 16, 1974 by Prince Charles. Happy Birthday! The Anglo-Australian Telescope dome all wrapped up for its birthday celebrations during StarFest, October 4, 2014.
Two great events on one great Saturday evening, 15 November, 6 to 8pm at spectacular Sydney Observatory. This event suits high school students and adults of all ages and is supported by the Australian Institute of Physics. BOOK NOW!
Harley Wood's site searching eventually resulted in the selection of Mt Woorut as the site for the Siding Spring Observatory. The view into the Warrumbungle National Park from Mt Woorut, c1959.
Harley Wood, NSW Government Astronomer, inspected sites across NSW in 1958 to find a suitable location for a new telescope. The man on the right in this photo is Dr Alex Rodgers from Mt Stromlo Observatory [may be J.
Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher, is said to have used the curved shadow of Earth seen during a lunar eclipse to support his theory of a spherical Earth. Modern measurements show Earth is slightly pear-shaped and knobbly.
Wednesday night saw the second of a tetrad of lunar eclipses. The evening was not clear with two layers of cloud moving in from different directions, but fortunately there were some occasional gaps in the cloud cover providing glimpses of the Moon.
This is the fourth post in a series which documents building a new dome for Sydney Observatory which is especially designed for people with disabilities and their carers. This project is important to our visitors.
Sarah is one of Sydney Observatory's expert astronomy Guides. She took time out from her PhD studies at the University of Sydney to help bring the total lunar eclipse of October 8, 2014 to Sydney.
The Moon's orbit around the Earth is tilted by about 5-degrees to the orbit the Earth takes around the Sun. So the Moon usually passes above or below Earth's shadow when it is full. Only about twice each year do the orbits align causing the Moon to pass through Earth's shadow - this is a lunar eclipse.
Many corals on the Great Barrier Reef will begin their synchronous spawning between one to six days after the first full Moon in October - that would be about now! A male star coral, Montastraea cavernosa, releases sperm into the water.