Observations

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Transit of Mercury at Sydney Observatory 1

November 9, 2006

Breakfast food at Sydney Observatory About 100 people enjoyed breakfast at Sydney Observatory this morning in celebration of the last transit of Mercury to be seen from Australia for 26 years. The tasty breakfast included fruit, croissants and yellow custard tarts with blueberries representing Mercury.

Mercury to cross in front of the Sun

November 7, 2006

The path of Mercury across the face of the Sun The planet Mercury will appear to pass in front of the disc of the Sun on the morning of Thursday 9 November 2006. New Zealanders and Australians on the east coast of the continent will be able to see this rare event from 6:12 am until 11:10 am Eastern summer time.

November Night Sky Guide and Podcast

November 1, 2006

This month, Sydney Observatory senior astronomy educator Geoff Wyatt tells us that highlights to look out for in November include the Transit of Mercury on 9 November and the ability to see the planets Uranus and Venus.

Monty observes a prominence

October 31, 2006

An active prominence on the eastern edge of the Sun. Image by Monty Leventhal Active solar observer and member of the Sydney City Skywatchers , Monty Leventhal, reports viewing gases rising off the edge of the Sun.

Les observes the Tarantula

October 30, 2006

The Tarantula Nebula imaged from the centre of Sydney_Sydney Observatory image The Tarantula Nebula is a huge cloud of gas and dust in the Large Magellanic cloud (LMC), a companion galaxy to our own galaxy.

Go “walking on the Moon” and see Bailley

October 23, 2006

Crater Bailly as drawn by Harry Roberts Here is the latest report from Harry Roberts, moon observer extraordinaire and member of the Sydney City Skywatchers: Harold Hill, the great lunar draftsman, says of Bailly “There is so much sketchable detail within this formation that it is well nigh impossible to cover Bailly in its entirety on a good night.” Bailly is hard to view since it lies on the western limb at latitude 66ºS, quite close to the lunar south pole, and Libration has a huge effect on how much of it we can view.

Great new picture of Saturn’s rings

October 17, 2006

Saturn's rings backlit by the Sun. Credit NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute This is the magnificent new picture of Saturn's rings that I discussed last night with James O'Loghlin on ABC702's Evening show.

Fireball over Lindfield

October 14, 2006

Ee-Loong reports: At around 7.30pm 12 October 2006, i witnessed a bright fire ball in the night sky. It lasted for about a second travelling from north to south in the Lindfield area. The object lit up and got brighter and fizzled out leaving a tail behind which disappeared not long after.

Good opportunity to see Mercury

October 12, 2006

Mercury, Jupiter and the moon at 7:30 pm on Tuesday 24 October 2006 from Australia Andrew asks: "I noticed Mercury in the night sky last night for the first time in 9 years, and it had been about 11 years prior since I saw it previously.

Tycho: beacon of the south

October 9, 2006

Crater Tycho Here is another drawing and observation of the Moon from Harry Roberts, Moon observer extraordinaire and member of the Sydney City Skywatchers: Tycho is a very young formation, only 110 million years old; much younger than the Sydney sandstone we walk around on.

Chinese Moon Festival

October 7, 2006

To celebrate the Harvest Moon which throughout China marks the Mid Autumn Moon Festival, Sydney Observatory threw a party! Nearly 100 people came along to enjoy music, Chinese mythology, Moon cakes and of course telescope viewing.

Hercules: “the well known astronomer” (?)

October 6, 2006

Crater Hercules Sydney amateur astronomer, expert Moon observer and member of the Sydney City Skywatchers, Harry Roberts reports: High in the lunar NE we find a striking pair of fresh large craters, improbably named Atlas and Hercules: neither well known as men of science.

Oh dear where has the Southern Cross gone?

September 27, 2006

Many of us have trouble finding the Southern Cross over the summer months. As a result many tourists get shown the "false cross", the "diamond cross" or one of many other asterisms out there that seem to resemble a cross.

Last chance to see a really high moon

September 26, 2006

The first quarter Moon This coming Saturday (30 September 2006) provides a final opportunity until 2025 to see the moon at its highest in the sky. From Sydney at 5:44 pm, just as the Sun is setting in the west, the moon will be due north and just five and a half degrees from the zenith, the point directly overhead.