Latest Posts

The travelling astronomer in Prague 3

August 18, 2006

Nick Lomb
Dr Richard Binzel demonstrating one of the new criteria for a planet Yesterday saw the release of the proposed new definition of a planet under which there are at least 12 planets in the solar system.

To be or not to be…

August 17, 2006

Geoff Wyatt
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Charon and "Xena" (2003 UB313). When is a planet really a planet? Astronomers at the International Astronomical Conference Union in Prague are debating this question at the moment.

The travelling astronomer in Prague 2

August 16, 2006

Nick Lomb
Entertainment at the opening ceremony This afternoon was the opening ceremony of the General Assembly. This was a most impressive ceremony with lots of speeches, some very good, as well as some entertainment.

The travelling astronomer in Prague 1

August 15, 2006

Nick Lomb
The Prague astronomical clock at 2 pm I arrived in Prague today to attend a major international gathering of astronomers. This is the three yearly General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union, the last one one of which was held in Sydney in 2003.

Winning sky photos exhibition opens

August 8, 2006

Nick Lomb
The overall winner of the 2006 David Malin Awards Peter Ward flanked by Bishop Christopher Toohey (CWAS President) and Dr David Malin The "Winning sky photos: the David Malin Awards" exhibition opened last night at Sydney Observatory.

Fireball over Bega

August 6, 2006

Nick Lomb
Carolyn reports a fireball in the Bega area: Aug 5th, 2006 at 9:00 pm Hi we have just witnessed what looked like a huge fireball coming across the sky we live in the Bega Area the time is now 8.55pm we took video of the fireball.

Wurzelbauer and the giant “cowpat”

August 4, 2006

Nick Lomb
As indicated on the previous post, the moon is the easiest celestial body to observe and a wealth of detail can be seen even through a small telescope. Here is another of the exquisite lunar drawings by amateur astronomer and member of the Sydney City Skywatchers Harry Roberts: This is the story Roald Dahl didn’t write!

Vitello – a strange crater on the moon

July 31, 2006

Nick Lomb
If you have a small telescope or a friend with one that you can use, it is worth while examining the moon. Huge amount of details are visible and the features change in appearance as the lunar day progresses.

The newest globular cluster – seen!

July 27, 2006

Nick Lomb
Globular clusters are roughly spherical collections of old stars that circle around the centre of the Galaxy. Some like Omega Centauri are massive objects with hundreds of thousands of stars. Others like the just announced AL 3 are faint and have relatively few stars.

One of the most wonderful Sydney experiences

July 25, 2006

Nick Lomb
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

Nick Lomb
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"!!!

Weather clears for a great Festival

July 23, 2006

Nick Lomb
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

Nick Lomb
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

Nick Lomb
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

Nick Lomb
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.