Latest Posts

Mars caught by the claw

February 12, 2016

Les Dalrymple is a guide at Sydney Observatory and a keen all hours observer. Below he discusses one of our nearest neighbours, the red planet Mars. Many have been outside in the early hours of the morning observing the parade of five planets in the pre-dawn sky.

Do Black Holes Twinkle?

February 10, 2016

Dr Rajan Chhetri is a guide at Sydney Observatory. He researches Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) and below discusses the interesting phenomenon that blacks holes might twinkle. We've all sung or heard the nursery rhyme "twinkle twinkle little star".

Seeing a stellar cataclysm

February 6, 2016

Les Dalrymple is a guide at Sydney Observatory and a passionate deep sky observer. Below he discusses one of his favourite objects to observe – a supernova. Supernovae are usually associated with a gigantic star that has exhausted its nuclear fuel, undergone core collapse followed by a brilliant explosion leaving behind a pulsar or possibly a black hole.

Blast from the past: the ‘Super’ nova

February 2, 2016

Kirsten Banks is a guide at Sydney Observatory and is currently studying physics at UNSW. Below she discusses a recently observed supernova and explains what supernovae are. Astronomers have recently discovered a monster supernova as bright as 570 billion Suns!

February 2016 night sky guide and sky chart

February 1, 2016

To help you learn about the southern night sky, Sydney Observatory provides a guide and a sky map or chart each month. This month's guide is presented by Melissa Hulbert, Sydney Observatory’s Astronomy Programs Coordinator.

Energy, Mass, the Velocity of Light and Cake

January 22, 2016

Einstein's Relativity is a little over a century old, and is still our best description of space and time. But trying to explain this unintuitive theory of distorted space and time, without using mathematics, has always been a challenge.

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.