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Looking for something different?

September 20, 2006

If you and several friends would like a slightly different activity to enjoy one weekend read on! This photo was taken with a simple Canon Ixus camera, not an SLR or DSLR. Simply by holding the camera up to the eyepiece of our Solar Telescope I was able to take several images.

Heavens-above!

September 20, 2006

If you visit the website www.heavens-above.com and select your location, you can see predictions of when to look to the sky and see satellites, the International Space Station and Irridium flares like this one shown below.

Sighting of International Space Station

September 18, 2006

This evening (Monday 18 August 2006) from 6:19 pm to 6:25 pm The International Space Station could be very clearly seen in the northern and north-eastern sky moving east. What made this a spectacular and memorable sight was a fainter accompanying point of light behind the ISS and keeping a constant distance from it.

A prominence on the Sun

September 18, 2006

Solar prominence on Friday 15 September 2006. Photo by Monty Leventhal Sydney amateur astronomer and expert solar observer Monty Leventhal has sent the above picture of a recent solar prominence. A prominence consists of gas thrown up from the visible surface of the Sun moving under the influence of magnetic fields on the Sun.

Fireball over Bondi?

September 18, 2006

Mark Norris reports: I have just seen a fireball as described by Sharon kelly at approximately 2120hrs passing overhead at Bondi / Tamaramma travelling in South by South Easterly direction at an altitude of around 500 - 1000 feet.

Discord and lawlessness among the planets.

September 15, 2006

2003 UB313 has finally been named, somewhat appropriately I think, after the Roman God of discord. Eris or more correctly 136199 Eris, is the largest of the three known dwarf planets in the solar system.

September 8 2006 Partial Lunar Eclipse

September 8, 2006

Despite the "Cloud Curse of Sydney Observatory" as mentioned in the media, 18 intrepid souls joined us for a 4am breakfast to enjoy today's partial Lunar eclipse. Yes there was a lot of cloud but we all managed to see the largest full Moon of the year minus the 19% hidden in the Earth's shadow.

Pluto – how Sydney Observatory voted

September 6, 2006

Voting on Pluto (the astronomers in the foreground have already voted) The International Astronomical Union at its recent General Assembly in Prague debated the definition of a planet. After a number of false starts the astronomers approved a definition stating that a planet a) must circle the Sun b) must be sufficiently massive for its gravity to have pulled it into a near sperical shape c) must have cleared out its zone, that is it is the only large object circling the Sun in its region of the solar system.

The travelling astronomer in Budapest 2

September 6, 2006

60-cm telescope at Konkoly Observatory The intrepid travelling astronomer visited two very different Budapest observatories yesterday. The first was Konkoly Observatory on the hills above Budapest.

The travelling astronomer in Budapest 1

September 2, 2006

Hungary's level marker The travelling astronomer is now in Budapest, Hungary. So far I have not been near any astronomical observatories, but I hope to get to one or two next week. There has been one interesting and relevant site though.

September sky guides – look, listen and explore!

September 1, 2006

Now you don't even have to read what's happening in the sky. All you have to do is follow the links below. Download a map of the sky this month and listen to the web broadcast online. How easy is that?

The travelling astronomer in Prague 6

August 26, 2006

Voting card for the planet vote A long time ago the Seekers sang "The Carnival is Over" and so is the Prague General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union. Wednesday night saw the farewell dinner which itself ended spectacularly with a light show to the music of Czech composer Smetana at the Krizik fountain.

The travelling astronomer in Prague 5

August 23, 2006

Debating the definition of a planet Today saw the lunchtime discussion on what is the definition of a planet. Though the proposal put to the meeting had already been somewhat modified there was some strong opposition and heated debate - unusually heated for a group of astronomers.

The travelling astronomer in Prague 4

August 21, 2006

Statue of Kepler & Tycho Brahe The travelling astronomer has sore feet after climbing up and down in Prague's castle district in the footsteps of these two famous 16th/17th centuryastronomers. This statue was erected in 1984 near the site where Tycho lived at one stage in Prague.