Latest Posts

See all five naked eye planets in January & February 2016

January 20, 2016

From late January through February 2016 all five naked eye planets will be visible at once in the pre-dawn sky. This planetary arrangement occurs on average every 12 years. What can I see and when? To see these five planets - Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter - look to the east between about 5:15am and 5:30am any time from Saturday January 23 to the end of February.

Follow the “Pale Red Dot” search for planets around Proxima Centauri

January 19, 2016

Is there a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, our closest night time star? In 1915 Robert Innes discovered that Proxima Centauri was our closest star not far from bright Alpha Centauri. Last year I wrote about the centenary of this discovery, its Australian connection and how to see Proxima Centauri for yourself.

Meteor showers for 2016

January 18, 2016

Silvia Choi is an astronomy guide at Sydney Observatory and avid meteor chaser! Below she discuss upcoming meteor showers for 2016. You may have heard about the Geminids meteor shower that appeared in the night sky in December 2015.

The lost relative of the South Dome refractor

January 16, 2016

Aina Musaeva is an astronomy guide at Sydney Observatory and PhD student at Sydney University. On a recent overseas trip she made an interesting discovery and link with a very special object at Sydney Observatory.

Moon Landing Hoax – Part 2

January 14, 2016

Liam Birchall is an astronomy guide at Sydney Observatory. Below he continues his series on the lunar landing hoax. Why does the flag wave on the Moon if there is no wind? Here is a follow up post related to continual rumblings and outbursts by those who see the entire Moon landings in the 60’s and 70’s as a gigantic hoax.

Harry observes the “Woomera” galaxy pair – NGC 1532 & 1531

January 12, 2016

 NGC 1532 & 1531, commonly called the "Woomera", reminds Harry of a Mimi spear thrower from the Arnhem Land area. Unless otherwise noted sketch and copyright Harry Roberts ©, all rights reserved Regular correspondent and solar observer Harry Roberts reports on his observations of the galaxys NGC 1532 & 1531.

Harry observes NGC 2516 and calls it “The Fishers” cluster

January 12, 2016

  NGC 2516 cluster in constellation Carina - "The Fishers" cluster? Sketch and copyright Harry Roberts ©, all rights reserved Regular correspondent and solar observer Harry Roberts reports on his observations of the star cluster NGC 2516.

January 2016 night sky guide and sky chart

January 4, 2016

To help you learn about the southern night sky, Sydney Observatory provides a guide to the night sky and a sky map or chart each month. This month's guide is presented by Dr Nick Lomb, Sydney Observatory's past Curator of Astronomy and Dr Andrew Jacob, Sydney Observatory's Curator of Astronomy.

In the Beginning…

December 1, 2015

The Big Bang, dark matter and the universe, all in a night’s work for our astronomy guide and PhD student Carlos Bacigalupo. Last month Mia came to Sydney Observatory to discuss her class project on the Big Bang with Carlos.

December 2015 night sky guide podcast, transcript and sky chart

December 1, 2015

To help you learn about the southern night sky, Sydney Observatory provides an audio guide/podcast, transcript of that audio, and a sky map or chart each month. This month's guide is presented by Geoffrey Wyatt, Astronomy Educator at Sydney Observatory (pictured at right).

The 2016 Australasian Sky Guide is available now.

November 30, 2015

This annual publication, written by former MAAS curator Dr Nick Lomb, has been providing stargazers with everything they need to know about the southern night sky for the past 26 years. The 2016 guide contains monthly astronomy maps, viewing tips and highlights, and details of the year’s exciting celestial events.

Moon Landing Hoax

November 26, 2015

Liam Birchall is an astronomy guide at Sydney Observatory. Below he discusses the lunar landing hoax. As the clouds clear and our companion moon is waxing itself into the eastern sky, we here at Sydney Observatory have been hearing once again rumblings about the Moon Landing “Hoax” on commercial radio and thought to revisit some of these spurious claims. According to the hoax view, NASA did not land on the moon in July 1969 as many believe.

Unlocking Ancient Astronomical Knowledge

November 5, 2015

Brenan Dew is an astronomy guide at Sydney Observatory and is currently working on his PhD at Macquarie University. Below he discusses ancient astronomy and the Egyptians. In our modern society it is well known that the Earth is constantly spinning on its axis, completing one revolution in approximately 24 hours.

What’s Flying Out There in Space Right Now?

November 4, 2015

Tiffany Day is one of our astronomy guides and in this post she discusses robotic explorers of our Solar System and beyond. If you've been paying attention to recent space news, you would have heard that the New Horizons space probe completed a successful flyby of Pluto - our first ever high resolution view of the planet in the history of our species - back in July of this year, or that the Curiosity rover successfully landed on Mars three years ago, and has just recently provided the first hard evidence of liquid water on Mars.