Observations

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Big new spot on the Sun

December 8, 2006

The Sun on 8 December 2006 at 11:30 am, picture Monty Leventhal A large new elongated sunspot has rotated around the edge of the Sun. It is officially designated as region 930. This is shown in the picture above from expert solar observer and member of the Sydney City Skywatchers Monty Leventhal.

Exciting new images from Mars

December 7, 2006

New crater on Mars, courtesy NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems Some of the most exciting images of Mars that have been taken in over 30 years of exploring the red planet have just been released.

Observing the shaking of a dying star

December 6, 2006

Variations in the brightness of the variable star R Lep, based on AAVSO data Amateur astronomer Alan Plummer observes stars of changing brightness from Linden Observatory in the Blue Mountains.

The nearly full Moon

December 5, 2006

Nearly full Moon on 4 December 2006, photo Ross Mitchell Last night the Moon was nearly full and the Sydney City Skywatchers enjoyed their annual Christmas Party. Good company, good food and lots of astronomical discussion.

December Night Sky Guide and podcast

December 4, 2006

Download the full resolution December 2006 sky map below Sydney Observatory senior astronomy educator Geoff Wyatt tells us that December is a good month, astronomically speaking, for early risers. From about midnight on 15 December, if the sky is clear you should be able to see the Geminid meteor shower low down in the northern sky.

Good passes by spacecraft or Paul loses the cat

December 1, 2006

The International Space Station after the last shuttle mission in September 2006, NASA image Sydney Observatory evening guide Paul Shallow reports: I could not remain silent and not tell you about this.

A large prominence on the Sun

November 29, 2006

Large prominence on the Sun, image by Monty Leventhal Expert solar observer and member of the Sydney City Skywatchers Monty Leventhal has imaged a prominence or gas ejection from the visible surface of the Sun.

Sydney radio astronomer honoured

November 28, 2006

Chrys & Bernie Mills with Martin George & the Grote Reber Medal, photo Nick Lomb Yesterday afternoon at Sydney University Emeritus Professor Bernard Yarnton Mills was presented with the Grote Reber Medal for 2006.

Astronomical remnants in Parramatta Park

November 23, 2006

Piers in Parramatta Park, photo Nick Lomb On the way back from Linden Observatory last weekend (see post Monday 20 November) Nick visited the site of Parramatta Observatory in Parramatta Park. This was set up by Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane in 1821 to study the then little known southern stars.

Monty sees a disappearing spot

November 22, 2006

Large sunspot in region 923 about to rotate round the western limb. Photographed by Monty Leventhal Expert solar observer and member of the Sydney City Skywatchers Monty Leventhal photographed a large sunspot just before it rotated out of view behind the western edge of the Sun.

Harry draws a chameleon-like crater Bürg

November 21, 2006

Crater Bürg drawn by Harry Roberts Expert Moon observer and member of the Sydney City Skywatchers, Harry Roberts reports: In an earlier piece we visited the “Lake of Death” at the eastern end of Mare Frigoris, with its centrally placed crater Bürg.

Nick goes observing at Linden

November 20, 2006

Reverend Bob Evans with his telescope at Linden Observatory - picture Nick Lomb Last weekend Nick together with a Sydney Observatory colleague and with the president of Sydney City Skywatchers had a rare opportunity to get away from Sydney's bright sky at Linden Observatory in the Blue Mountains.

Transit of Mercury from Japan

November 16, 2006

Transit of Mercury imaged by Ray Jones from Japan Last week's transit of Mercury was almost totally clouded out from Sydney. Elsewhere though people were busy taking images of the event. Above we show, with permission, one of the photos from veteran observer and member of the Northern Sydney Astronomical Society, Ray Jones.