Observations

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March 2016 night sky guide podcast, transcript and sky chart

March 1, 2016

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).

Sydney Observatory – Past and Present

February 27, 2016

Brenan Dew is an astronomy guide at Sydney Observatory and is currently working on his PhD at Macquarie University. Below he discusses the history of Sydney Observatory. Little has changed on Observatory Hill since Sydney Observatory first opened its doors 158 years ago, back in 1858.

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.