Observations

Year: 2015

Daily cosmobite: Sydney Observatory’s fourth third dome, part 2

January 29, 2015

Andrew Jacob
The new East Dome is the fourth third dome to be built in the grounds of Sydney Observatory. The second was built by Henry Russell in 1880. His star camera was installed here in 1890.   Sydney Observatory's second 'third dome' was constructed from corrugated iron and had a conical roof.

Daily cosmobite: Sydney Observatory’s fourth third dome, part 1

January 28, 2015

Andrew Jacob
The new East Dome is the fourth third dome to be built in the grounds of Sydney Observatory. The first was built by Henry Russell in the 1870s. It had a shallow conical roof.   Sydney Observatory's first 'third dome' was located beside the white shade pyramid in the front garden. ©MAAS.

Daily cosmobite: Sydney Observatory’s East Dome opens

January 27, 2015

Andrew Jacob
Sydney Observatory's new East Dome officially opens today, 27 January, 2015. It is one of three domes on the site. The south dome was built in 1858 (enlarged in 1874) and the north dome was added in 1877.

Daily cosmobite: The Australia Day asteroid 2004 BL86

January 26, 2015

Andrew Jacob
Tonight asteroid 2004 BL86 will pass Earth, but three times further away than the Moon. The Arecibo radio telescope will measure its size and shape using radar. Asteroids pass Earth every day but this will be the closest by one this big, i.e.

The Australia Day night sky

January 25, 2015

Toner Stevenson
As the First Fleet sailed into Sydney Harbour on Saturday 26 January 1788, there was no light pollution. The weather was clear and they would have had a clear view of the night sky that today, we can only imagine!

Daily cosmobite: The Sydney Star Camera, 1891

January 23, 2015

Andrew Jacob
Henry Russell designed his own photographic telescope, or "astrograph", to photograph large parts of the southern sky for the Astographic Catalogue project. He called it a "star camera". It was used from 1890 until the 1940s.

Daily cosmobite: The Astrographic Catalogue

January 22, 2015

Andrew Jacob
The aim of the Astrographic Catalogue project was to photograph the entire sky and measure the positions of all the recorded stars. It began in 1887. Sydney Observatory's section was published in 52 volumes and contained 740,000 star positions.

Daily cosmobite: George Smalley began recording tides in 1866

January 21, 2015

Andrew Jacob
In 1866 George Smalley, NSW Government Astronomer from 1863 to 1870, began recording tide heights. He installed an automated device at Fort Denison in Sydney Harbour. Tides are still measured from the same location today.

Harry follows the evolution of the great sunspot AR12192

January 20, 2015

Andrew Jacob
Evolution of a great sunspot AR12192. Sketch and copyright Harry Roberts ©, all rights reserved. Regular solar observer & correspondent Harry Roberts previously reported on the emergence of the great sunspot, AR12192.

Daily cosmobite: Venus, the brightest planet

January 20, 2015

Andrew Jacob
Venus, also visible in the west after sunset at present, will move further from the Sun over the coming months. By late June and into July it will be visible during daylight hours - if you know exactly where to look.

Daily cosmobite: Mercury by Messenger

January 19, 2015

Andrew Jacob
When describing the planets we used to say Mercury looked "just like the Moon". But the Messenger spacecraft has shown us a whole new world. Look west after sunset this week to see Mercury.     Mercury by the Messenger spacecraft.

Daily cosmobite: Jupiter returns to the evening sky

January 16, 2015

Andrew Jacob
Jupiter, King of the Planets, is returning to the evening sky. It rises just before 9:30pm AEDT now, and will rise earlier night to night. Look for the bright yellow 'star' in the constellation Leo, the Lion, King of the Jungle!