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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.

I love my job!

January 21, 2007

Stunned by the images being taken outside of bright cities I decided to head bush for my latest photo attempt of Comet McNaught. I finally found myself out near Round Swamp on the way to Ilford. I then travelled along a dirt road to find a place with a good view to the west and waited.

Hey Good Looking!

January 16, 2007

The three images above were taken Jan 19 from North head. Wow, this was the view 160 people got a glimspe of just as we were about to give up! Jan 18 8:45pm Well the view of Comet McNaught was much better tonight don't you think?

Twilight for a comet

January 15, 2007

Not as bright as we had been hoping for but to see a comet in daylight and photograph it just minutes after sunset? Priceless! If you would like to come to Sydney Observatory Tuesday 16th Wednesday 17th or Thursday 18th to try and see the comet, weather permitting, we have plenty of space in our night tours.

Comet McNaught visible on SOHO images

January 13, 2007

Comet McNaught on the LASCO C3 camera of the SOHO spacecraft, taken at 8:54 am eastern summer time 13 January 2007, courtesy SOHO Comet 2006 P1 is the brightest comet since Comet West in 1975. Discovered in August 2006 by Australian astronomer Rob McNaught, it is now so close to the Sun that it can be seen in images from the SOHO spacecraft stuying the Sun.

Holiday Rocket Fun

January 12, 2007

Making and launching water powered rockets at Sydney Observatory. Who said science isn't fun? We run many different programs each holiday but this has always been one of our favourites! If you would like to make rockets keep on eye on the website for the next school holiday program.

A bright new comet

January 9, 2007

Position of Comet McNaught after sunset on Monday 15 January as seen from Sydney A comet discovered by Australian astronomer Rob McNaught is becoming bright as it approaches the Sun. For people in the southern hemisphere the best chance to see it will be in the early evening very low in the west on Monday 15 January 2007 and on Tuesday 16 January 2007.

A visit to Melbourne Observatory

January 5, 2007

Melbourne Observatory on 1 January 2007, photo Nick Lomb On new year's day a quiet stroll in the Botanical Gardens in the city by the Yarra led to the Melbourne Observatory. This observatory was set up in its present location only a few years after Sydney Observatory and during the second half of the 19th century the two observatories were probably the main scientific establishments in the country.