Year: 2014

Daily cosmobite: Total lunar eclipse tonight, Oct 8 2014.

October 8, 2014

 A total lunar eclipse occurs tonight, October 8, 2014. It is best seen from 8:15pm AEDT to 11:35pm AEDT. During totality the Moon appears red, but the shade of red is impossible to predict.    The reddened Moon during a total lunar eclipse.

Daily cosmobite: Does the full Moon affect our behaviour?

October 7, 2014

 The full Moon affects Earth only through its gravity and light. This might influence the time we go fishing or inspire us to write a pop song. However, there is no conclusive evidence that it affects crime rates, emergency ward admissions or lycanthropy.

Daily cosmobite: Earth and asteroid 4766 Malin

October 3, 2014

Asteroid 4766 Malin, named after renowned Australian astrophotographer David Malin, has its closest approach to Earth today. However it is still 1.5 times further from us than is the Sun. The real David appears below at the opening of the 2014 Winning Sky Photos exhibition.

Accessing the sky: building Sydney Observatory’s new dome – post 3

October 3, 2014

In post 1 and post 2 of this series I provided information about why Sydney Observatory is building a new dome, where the dome came from and how the building program is progressing. I have already introduced you to some of the people involved in the project and our major supporters of the project, NSW Department of Aging, Disability and Home Care and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.

Daily cosmobite: Harley Wood searching for telescope sites, 1958

October 2, 2014

 In 1958 Harley Wood (on the right), NSW Government astronomer, traveled around NSW inspecting sites for telescopes. Here he is in Dubbo planning the next stage of the search. One of the sites he may have inspected became the Siding Spring Observatory.

Daily cosmobite: Constellation Aquila, the Eagle

October 1, 2014

The constellation Aquila, The Eagle, is high in the northern sky. In the northern hemisphere it is said to be flying south to escape the cold northern winter. Perhaps we should say it is flying south to escape the heat of our approaching summer.

Daily cosmobite: Happy Birthday Phil Plait

September 30, 2014

Happy 50th birthday to Phil Plait, the "Bad Astronomer". Phil has been a voice of rationality and clear thinking for many years. In 2013 he presented his ironically titled talk "Death from the Skies", photo below © MAAS.

Daily cosmobite: Training future radio astronomers

September 29, 2014

The CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science Radio Astronomy School for 2014 begins today near Narrabri. The next generation of radio astronomers will receive hands-on training to prepare them to make the most of the enormous SKA radio telescope and its precursor instruments.  Beautiful sunrises are part of life at the Australia Telescope site.

Daily cosmobite: Mars and Antares

September 26, 2014

Mars is in conjunction with the star Antares on Sunday at 06:00am AEST. Watch Mars over the weekend as it approaches and passes close by Antares, the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius. The two are linked in name also - Antares is translated as "like Mars" or "rival of Mars" although the former seems to be preferred these days.

Daily cosmobite: Ole Roemer anniversary

September 25, 2014

The Danish astronomer Ole Roemer was born 370 years ago today. He is credited with being the first person to measure the speed of light using observations of Jupiter's moon Io.

Daily cosmobite: Spring equinox, 2014

September 23, 2014

TODAY is the Spring equinox in the southern hemisphere. At 12:29pm today the Sun will cross the celestial equator into the southern part of the sky. The days are now longer than the nights.   The Sun in extreme UV light (false-coloured green) as seen by the Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft.