Year: 2015

Daily cosmobite: The Moon’s motion across the sky

February 13, 2015

The Moon orbits Earth in 27.3 days. From the point of view of an observer on the ground it appears to move a little over 13-degrees eastward through the sky each night. This means it rises, on average, about 50-minutes later each night.

Daily cosmobite: A breakout of solar filaments

February 12, 2015

Several filaments, dark snake-like streaks, appear on the Sun today. These long streams of hot gas 'float in the magnetic field above the Sun's surface. APOD for 2015 Feb 10 claims one is amongst the longest ever recorded and it has been there for a week already.

Daily cosmobite: Centenary of birth of Richard Hamming

February 11, 2015

Richard Hamming, mathematician, was born on Feb 11, 1915. Among other things he devised the Hamming window - a mathematical filter used in digital signal processing, whose name will be recognised by many engineers and physicists.

Daily cosmobite: Dark observing locations in Melbourne

February 10, 2015

Light pollution is the bane of city-based astronomers. This series of night time images was taken from the International Space Station. They help identify dark sites from which to best view the sky. This week we look at Melbourne.

Daily cosmobite: Jupiter’s moons, occultations and eclipses

February 9, 2015

Until July Jupiter's moons will undergo a series of mutual eclipses and occultations. These happen every six years when the orbital plane of the moons appears edge-on to Earth. Jupiter's moons are clearly visible through the telescopes at Sydney Observatory.

Daily cosmobite: Sydney Observatory’s location

February 6, 2015

In the 1850s plans were afoot to establish a time ball somewhere in Sydney. Captain Phillip Parker King recommended "...the  ground about Fort Phillip because it is visible from all parts of the harbour and city".

Daily cosmobite: The Giant Magellan Telescope

February 5, 2015

Australia is part of the Giant Magellan Telescope project, one of the next-generation telescope projects currently in development. Its seven primary mirrors have an equivalent diameter of 24.5m. It will try to answer such questions as: Are we alone?

Dr Pryke considers the constellation Scorpius in Myth and Religion

February 4, 2015

The constellation of Scorpius the scorpion in the southern winter sky. Image made with Stellarium In 2014 Dr Louise Pryke investigated the well-known zodiacal constellation of Taurus, the Bull. In her most recent research Dr Pryke has been exploring the ancient myth and astrological traditions surrounding the constellation Scorpius.  When early humans first began to look up at the stars, and to tell stories about the great beings they saw among the constellations, scorpions had already inhabited the Earth for hundreds of millions of years.

February 2015 night sky guide transcript and sky chart

February 4, 2015

To help you learn about the southern night sky, Sydney Observatory provides a guide to the night sky and a sky map or chart each month. This month's guide is presented by Melissa Hulbert, Sydney Observatory's Astronomy Programs Coordinator.

Daily cosmobite: February full Moon and Jupiter

February 4, 2015

The Moon is full today. In the evening, around 9pm, look eastwards to see the full Moon with Jupiter just below and to the left.   The full Moon and Jupiter are visible in the east with Gemini, the Twins, nearby.

Daily cosmobite: Dark observing locations in Sydney

February 3, 2015

Light pollution is the bane of city-based astronomers. However, night time images taken from the International Space Station help identify dark sites from which to best view the sky. Let's begin with Sydney.

Daily cosmobite: A page from the Astrographic Catalogue

February 2, 2015

Plate 694s was taken in 1893 from the grounds of Sydney Observatory with Russell's star camera. The star positions (X and Y) were measured in Melbourne. 442 stars were measured on this plate alone.     Page 1 of volume 2 of the Sydney section of the Astrographic Catalogue. ©MAAS.