Latest Posts

One of the most wonderful Sydney experiences

July 25, 2006

Q. I have heard that sometimes when there is a full moon one can sit at McMahons point and watch it rise under the Harbour Bridge. I was told it is one of the most wonderful Sydney experiences. Is this the case and how often/when does it happen?

Mars is not approaching this August

July 24, 2006

There is an email circulating in cyberspace saying that the red planet Mars will be exceptionally close on 27 August (2006). According to one version "It will look like the Earth has two moons"!!! Once again this is a good lesson in not believing everything on the Internet.

Weather clears for a great Festival

July 23, 2006

Sydney Observatory's annual Festival of the Stars was held this weekend on Friday (21 July) and Saturday (22 July). The weather forecast was gloomy and sure enough there was lots of cloud for the Friday evening.

A figure-of-eight

July 19, 2006

Q. At 12.00 midday each day (weather permitting) I mark the shadow cast by the top corner of the building. I have been recording this since Sept 23 2005, and the shape has taken a nice elongated figure 8 shape (infinity symbol).

How dark can we go?

July 18, 2006

This coming Friday and Saturday evenings (July 21 & 22) Sydney Observatory is holding its second annual Festival of the Stars. The Sydney Harbour Bridge floodlights will be turned off for the events and a number of City and North Sydney buildings will be turning off their exterior signage.

Double event at the Observatory

July 18, 2006

On Monday 7 August from 6:30 pm there will be a double event at Sydney Observatory. First there will be the opening of a spectacular photographic display. This is from the 2006 "David Malin" Awards that was held during the CWAS Astrofest in July.

Just how much fun can you have in one day!

July 13, 2006

Every School Holidays we hold numerous family events. Yesterday we ran our “Lost in Space Family Fun Day”. Aimed at children, all the activities were included in the ticket price of just $10 per child.

Surge on Sun

July 13, 2006

Sunspots on the Sun indicate regions of strong activity and magnetic fields. The number of spots tends to vary with a cycle of 11-years called, not surprisingly, the sunspot cycle. In 2006 the Sun is at a minumum in the cycle and there are generally few spots visible.

Listen to the night sky

July 11, 2006

July's clear nights provide an excellent opportunity to become familiar with the night sky. One of the best ways to do so is to download a monthly sky description from the Sydney Observatory website, go outside with the drink of your choice and an mp3 player and then settle down comfortably to watch the sky and listen to the description.

Fireball reports

July 7, 2006

Are these the same object? Q. "Hi im from bateau bay n.s.w.tonight 6.20pm i saw a meteor going from west to east fizzing out over the sea could this be a fragment of yesterdays report of a near miss of a much larger object , my sighting showed a brilliant long tale slow moving" A.

Solar system model and the stars

July 6, 2006

It can be difficult to explain the large scale of our solar system. Diagrams in books invariably are not to scale as the innermost planets like Venus and Earth are so much closer to the Sun than the outer planets like Jupiter and Saturn.

Hubble camera working again

July 3, 2006

The main camera on the Hubble Space Telescope is the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). In the middle of June power supply problems in the camera forced NASA engineers to shut down the camera to protect the CCD detectors.

A supernova discovered (almost)

June 28, 2006

Each new moon weekend a group of amateur astronomers from the Sutherland Astronomical Society head to a dark site at Bargo outside Sydney to do some serious observing. Last Saturday (24 June) Les Dalrymple thought that he had discovered an exploding star or supernova.

Moon night at Sydney Observatory

June 28, 2006

This Monday evening will be a great time to view the Moon as it is at first quarter phase, the phase when most detail is visible. The amateur group Sydney City Skywatchers will hold a Moon observing practical night at Sydney Observatory on Monday 3 July at 6:30 pm.