Observations

Year: 2014

Daily cosmobite: a pair of stars

August 14, 2014

Nick Lomb
Spica, the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo the Maiden, is high in the west. Astronomers have found that it is made up of a pair of stars whirling around each other every four days. An artist’s impression of the two stars of Spica.

Daily cosmobite: the maiden with a palm branch

August 13, 2014

Nick Lomb
The constellation of Virgo the Maiden is high in the western sky in the early evening. According to one legend the constellation represents the daughter of the harvest goddess Ceres. Thus Virgo is usually pictured with a palm branch in her right hand and an ear of wheat in her left.

Harry finds that sunspot group AR12130 is only a quasi-return of a previous group

August 12, 2014

Nick Lomb
A comparison between sunspot group AR12109 on 10 July 2014 and its returned version as AR12130 on 30 July and 1 August 2014. Sketch and copyright Harry Roberts ©, all rights reserved These reports have often noted the return of sunspot groups from the Sun’s far side, which make a second transit of the visible hemisphere.

Daily cosmobite: Mars moon anniversary

August 12, 2014

Nick Lomb
On this day in 1877 American astronomer Asaph Hall discovered Deimos, the first of the two moons of Mars. Hall worked at the United States Naval Observatory located at Foggy Bottom in Washington DC where he used a large 26-inch (66-cm) lens telescope for his observations.

Daily cosmobite: perigee Moon

August 10, 2014

Nick Lomb
The Moon is full tomorrow morning and it will appear larger than usual. This is because the instant of full Moon at 4:09 am AEST almost coincides with the instant that the Moon is at its closest to Earth for the month at 3:43 am.

Daily cosmobite: anniversary another famous Australian astronomer

August 9, 2014

Nick Lomb
Prominent Australian radio astronomer Wilbur Norman Christiansen was born on this day in 1913 in Elsternwick, Melbourne. As Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Sydney he was responsible for the building of the Fleurs Synthesis Telescope, at the time the highest-resolution radio telescope in the southern hemisphere.

Daily cosmobite: large telescopes

August 7, 2014

Nick Lomb
The largest optical telescope in Australia is the Anglo-Australian Telescope at Siding Spring in NSW with an aperture of just under 4-metres. However, it is dwarfed by recent telescopes such as the two Gemini telescopes in Chile and Hawaii that are each double its size.

Daily cosmobite: Rosetta to arrive at comet

August 6, 2014

Nick Lomb
After a decade long journey the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft is expected to reach comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko this evening Australian time. The spacecraft will continue to stay with the comet as it approaches its closest point to the Sun in a year’s time.

Saturn emerges from behind Moon 4 August 2014

August 5, 2014

Nick Lomb
The first quarter Moon on the evening of 4 August 2014 slipped in front of the ringed planet Saturn. Photo Nick Lomb On the evening of 4 August 2014 as seen from Australia the first quarter Moon moved in front of the the ringed planet Saturn.

Daily cosmobite: small telescopes

August 5, 2014

Nick Lomb
If you are buying a small telescope for yourself, or as a present, remember that the most important size in a telescope is the width of the front lens or main mirror. Generally, the bigger it is the better.

Live Stream of Moon Hiding Saturn, Aug 4 2014

August 4, 2014

Andrew Jacob
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSUX4qXDNoQ The occultation is now over. But you can watch our recorded stream above. If you can't wait to see the exciting moments: Saturn begins to disappear behind the dark limb of the Moon near 41 minutes  into the stream and reappears just before 1 hour 23 minutes into the stream.

Daily cosmobite: the Moon covers Saturn

August 4, 2014

Nick Lomb
Tonight the last quarter Moon will cover or occult the ringed planet Saturn as seen from the entire Australian mainland. There was another occultation of Saturn in May but this time the occultation is easier to see and photograph as the disappearance occurs on the dark edge of the Moon.

Daily cosmobite: Mars and the Moon

August 3, 2014

Nick Lomb
The red planet Mars can be seen each evening after dusk in the north-west sky. The rover Curiosity has now been on the planet’s surface for over a Martian year of 687 Earth days. After landing in an ancient riverbed, the rover is on its way to Mount Sharp.

Daily cosmobite: great month for sky watchers

August 1, 2014

Nick Lomb
August 2014 is an exceptional month for those interested in looking up as there are a variety of spectacular and fascinating events taking place in the sky. Among these are that on the 4th the Moon covers Saturn and a week later there is the rise and set of a supermoon.