Observations

Year: 2014

2014-10-18 Polynesian Astronomy: Cultural Astronomy!

September 19, 2014

Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

Saturday 18 October, 6 to 7:45pm
Hear from one of the world’s experts on cultural astronomy, Professor Emeritus Clive Ruggles, from Leicester University who has just returned from Hawaii

2014-10-8 Total lunar eclipse

September 19, 2014

Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

Wednesday 8 October, 8.00pm – 11.30pm

Enjoy great viewing on a total eclipse of the Moon from Sydney Observatory.

2014-10-2 The Moon, the Myth and the Mystery

September 19, 2014

Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

Thursday 2 October, 6.00pm – 8.00pm

Ahead of the total lunar eclipse, join us for a night of stories about the Moon from around Australia.

Accessing the sky: the building of Sydney Observatory’s new dome – post 1

September 18, 2014

Toner Stevenson
A visionary project to build a third telescope dome at the Museum’s Sydney Observatory has received funding from the NSW Department of Family and Community Services. Ageing, Disability and Home Care and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS), to provide access for all to astronomical telescopes to view the stars and planets.

Something Strange In The Sky Today

September 18, 2014

Melissa Hulbert
Calls started early this morning (2014, September 18) about a strange round object in the sky. At first it was hard to pin-point the exact location as direction of the object relative to the Sun and Moon were different depending on the caller’s location.

Daily Cosmobite: I see a supermoon setting and rising

September 8, 2014

Toner Stevenson
The third so-called supermoon for 2014 is about to happen.  Supermoon is when Moon is at perigee to Earth. An eight year old explained perigee to me the other day. He said this is when the Moon is close to the Earth because of the slight oval path it takes around our planet.

Daily cosmobite: the best telescopes site 2

September 6, 2014

Nick Lomb
Recent research indicates that the world’s best spot for a telescope is a frozen plateau in Antarctica known as Dome C. In winter observing is possible from there for 24 hours a day, the sky is dark and the air above is still and dry.

Daily cosmobite: Voyager 1 anniversary

September 5, 2014

Nick Lomb
NASA launched its Voyager 1 spacecraft on this day in 1977, two weeks after its sister craft, Voyager 2. Voyager 1 is now over 19 billion kilometres from Earth and still sending back information to ground stations including the one at Tidbinbilla near Canberra.

Daily cosmobite: the best telescopes site 1

September 4, 2014

Nick Lomb
Astronomers using large research telescopes need locations away from bright lights so that the sky is dark. They also want few nights ruined by cloud and the air above the telescope still so that there is little blurring of the image.

Daily cosmobite: Mars landing anniversary

September 3, 2014

Nick Lomb
NASA’s Viking 2 Lander touched down on Mars on this day in 1976. This was about six weeks after the landing of its sister craft, the Viking 1 Lander. The two landers gave people on Earth the first views of the surface of the red planet, as well as conducting experiments on the makeup of the planet’s soil and atmosphere.

Harry watches and ponders a long-lived filament on the Sun

September 2, 2014

Nick Lomb
A long-lived filament progressing across the Sun. Sketch and copyright Harry Roberts ©, all rights reserved While a ‘prominence’ is “a bright feature seen above the Sun’s limb in a strong chromospheric spectral line” (H-alpha in our case)”,…a filament is a similar feature projected as a dark, usually elongated structure on the disc”.

Daily cosmobite: the most obese star

September 2, 2014

Nick Lomb
A group of astronomers suggest that a star in a cluster of stars inside the Tarantula Nebula is the most massive known. The star, R136a1, weighs in at 265 times the mass of our Sun. A composite image of the Tarantula Nebula.

We are all made of stars: report on women in astronomy workshop

September 1, 2014

Toner Stevenson
I was fortunate enough to attend this year’s Women in Astronomy workshop (WiA2014) held in Canberra at the ANU and themed ‘We are all made of stars’. Professor Brian Schmidt, Nobel prize winner, and one of Australia’s most distinguished astronomers, set the scene with the aim of the conference to ‘ensure astronomy is a vibrant field in Australia’ which he described as engaging a diverse range of the population in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths).

Daily cosmobite: spring is here!

September 1, 2014

Nick Lomb
Today we say good bye to winter and welcome the start of spring. In some countries the tradition is that spring begins at the equinox, which is on 23 September this year. The choice of when to begin the seasons is completely arbitrary and having spring run through September, October and November matches the Australian climate.