Observations

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Australia Day 2007

January 26, 2007

Geoff Wyatt
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

Geoff Wyatt
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

Geoff Wyatt
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

Nick Lomb
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

Geoff Wyatt
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

Geoff Wyatt
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

Geoff Wyatt
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

Nick Lomb
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

Geoff Wyatt
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

Nick Lomb
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

Nick Lomb
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.

Possible fireball sighting

December 28, 2006

Nick Lomb
Grant reports the sighting of something that sounds like a fireball, a bright meteor caused by a small rock from space hitting the atmosphere. He saw it on Tuesday (Boxing Day) evening at about 9:30 pm.

January 2007 Night Sky Guide and podcast

December 21, 2006

Download the full resolution January 2007 sky map below In the audio guide for January 2007 - which is particularly rich in information, with much to see in the night sky - Sydney Observatory curator of astronomy, Dr Nick Lomb tells us that the best time to look at the night sky this month is when there is no Moon or the Moon is not too bright - from 11 January when the Moon is at last quarter to 26 January when the Moon is at first quarter and starting to be bright again.

A southern galaxy

December 19, 2006

Nick Lomb
The galaxy NGC 1097, image Gerry Aarts The above spectacular image of galaxy NGC 1097 was taken by Gerry Aarts, the president of the Western Sydney Amateur Astronomy Group (WSAAG). Gerry took the image at Linden Observatory in the Blue Mountains on 18 November 2006.

Good bye to active sunspot

December 18, 2006

Nick Lomb
Sunspot 930 about to disappear beyond the edge of the Sun, image Monty Leventhal Over the last two weeks a large sunspot has been visible on the face of the Sun. It has just disappeared beyound the Sun's western edge.