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February 2007 night sky podcast transcript

February 17, 2007

This is a transcript of a podcast of the February 2007 night sky guide. Download and listen to the podcast as you gaze up at the night sky. Nick Lomb: This is a Guide to the Night Sky in February 2007.

Check out famous variable star Mira

February 16, 2007

Mira finding chart for 17 February at 9:00 pm or 24 February at 8:30 pm, drawn by Nick Lomb Possibly the most famous variable star in the sky is Omicron Ceti, better known as Mira, which means "the Wonderful".

The time ball drops again

February 13, 2007

Geoff raising the time ball, photo Nick Lomb Sydney Observatory's time ball was dropped again at 1 pm today after essential repairs lasting six months. The great confusion and turmoil in the City of Sydney during that period with people not knowing when to take their lunch hour is over.

Giant star becoming brighter

February 9, 2007

Observations of the variable star V432 Car, courtesy Alan Plummer Blue Mountains amateur astronomer and member of the Sydney City Skywatchers, Alan Plummer, observes stars that vary in their brightness.

Australia Day fireball mystery revealed

February 5, 2007

F-111 dump & burn at the Richmond Air Show 2006, courtesy Department of Defence Many people reported a bright fireball over Sydney on the evening of Australia Day. My colleague Geoff Wyatt did suggest that it was a dump and burn from an F-111, but some people were not fully convinced.

Nick to speak out on light pollution

February 2, 2007

Sydney at night, photo by Nick Lomb A major city like Sydney needs to be lit both in its CBD and in its suburbs, but how much light do we need? Does more light make it safer on the streets? Does more light make it easier to see?

February 2007 night sky guide and podcast

January 31, 2007

Download the full resolution February 2007 sky map below Dr Nick Lomb, Sydney Observatory Curator of Astronomy tells us that February is a good month to see the constellations of the Southern Cross, Orion and Gemini.

Good Morning Comet McNaught

January 31, 2007

Comet McNaught continues to be visible although it is fading. Now however, it can be seen in the morning sky in the South East from around 3:45am until morning twilight at around 5:15am. These images were taken at Echo Point Katoomba just a few hours ago.

Where’s crater Newton? (Work in progress)

January 30, 2007

Figure 1. The Newton group of craters from Rükl’s “Atlas of the Moon” Expert moon observer and member of the Sydney City Skywatchers, Harry Roberts sends the following about our favourite Moon: Isaac Newton, while an enthusiastic alchemist, was also a true Enlightenment figure.

New spot on the Sun

January 29, 2007

The Sun on Monday 29 January 2007, courtesy Monty Leventhal Comet McNaught maybe fading, so it maybe time to consider another celestial body that is not fading. And it is unlikely to fade unless a rather worrying US scheme to block some of the Sun's light actually eventuates.

Comet McNaught is fading

January 26, 2007

Well after a fabulous day at Sydney Observatory celebrating Australia Day I headed to Katoomba with my friend Dr Paul. We found a lovely spot a snapped a few images. In the last one you can see a bright satellite trail which is the International Space Station.

Australia Day 2007

January 26, 2007

Thankyou to the 1400 plus people that came to Sydney Observatory today for our Australia Day program. We launched rockets, in our national colours of green and gold of course. And to farewell Pluto from our family of planets, we made Arriverderci Pluto hats.

I’m off to Mars! So is my Mum and my Dad

January 25, 2007

Hello All, If you would like to have your name, or those of your family, sent to Mars with the Phoenix lander mission, you can submit names for inclusion on a DVD that will be carried on the lander via the Planetary Society's website at http://planetary.org/namestomars Submitting your name will enable you to print out your own certificate of participation, to commemorate your inclusion on this historic mission.

Comet McNaught photos

January 24, 2007

Despite starting to fade quickly this beautiful comet continues to delight us all. So much so that we are now getting photos sent to us at Sydney Observatory. Here is just a sample. Of course if you have a cool comet shot please send it to me at geoffw@phm.gov.au in jpeg format with a width of 400 pixels and I'll add it to the collection.

The Great Pluto Debate

January 22, 2007

With all the excitement around Comet McNaught (see Geoff Wyatt’s unbelievably stunning images below) it should be remembered that there are other things of interest in astronomy at the moment. One is the status of Pluto that was discussed in an infomative debate at Sydney Observatory in front of a capacity crowd of over 120 or so people on Saturday evening.