Latest Posts

Partial moon eclipse from WA

March 2, 2007

Nick Lomb
Partial eclipse of the moon on 17 October 2005, image Nick Lomb A total eclipse of the Moon will be visible this weekend from Europe and Africa. From Australia it will be seen as a partial eclipse, but only from Western Australia.

Watch that star – it may explode!

February 27, 2007

Nick Lomb
Keyhole Nebula, image Gerry Aarts The dark Keyhole Nebula, visible in the picture above by the president of the Western Sydney Amateur Astronomical Group, Gerry Aarts,is part of the Eta Carinae Nebula.

Lights in the sky

February 22, 2007

Nick Lomb
Sydney Observatory often receives reports from the public about mysterious and unexplained sightings in the sky. Many of these are fireballs, which are small rocks from space hitting the Earth's atmosphere at high speed and burning up brightly as they reach the denser parts of the atmosphere about 30 or 40 km above the ground.

Mysterious sighting explained

February 21, 2007

Nick Lomb
Sydney Observatory has received a number of reports of a strange glow in the sky, about the size of the full moon, seen on the early morning of Tuesday 20 February 2007. Two commercial airline pilots reported the sighting, one flying over Indonesia, the other over Malaysia.

Floating planetarium arrives and leaves Sydney

February 21, 2007

Nick Lomb
Queen Mary 2 berthed in Sydney as seen from Sydney Observatory, image Melissa Hulbert Sydneysiders had great interest in the arrival in the Harbour of one of the world's largest cruise ships, the 151,400 tonne Queen Mary 2.

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

Nick Lomb
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

Nick Lomb
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

Nick Lomb
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

Nick Lomb
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

Nick Lomb
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

Geoff Wyatt
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

Nick Lomb
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

Nick Lomb
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.