Observations

Latest Posts

Fireball over Sydney on Sunday night 1st October

October 3, 2006

Geoff Wyatt
We have received many calls about an amazingly bright fireball over Sydney on Sunday night at around 7:00 to 8pm. Sadly this was not of heavenly origins but the RAAF!

Oh dear where has the Southern Cross gone?

September 27, 2006

Geoff Wyatt
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

Nick Lomb
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.

Looking for something different?

September 20, 2006

Geoff Wyatt
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

Geoff Wyatt
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

Nick Lomb
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

Nick Lomb
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.

Fireball over Bondi?

September 18, 2006

Nick Lomb
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

Geoff Wyatt
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

Geoff Wyatt
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

Nick Lomb
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

Nick Lomb
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

Nick Lomb
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

Geoff Wyatt
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?