Harry wonders about the lack of recent sightings of Transient Lunar Phenomena and outlines their history

November 22, 2011

Nick Lomb
A sketch and a photo of the Aristarchus region on the Moon. Sketch: Image and copyright Harry Roberts ©, all rights reserved Photo: Jean Luc DAUVERGNE, Philippe TOSI and Elie ROUSSET, IMCCE/SP2/Obs MIDI Pyrénées Secretly perhaps, many of us who point a ‘scope at the Moon hope to see some unexplained transient event – a TLP or transient lunar phenomenon (LTP for Americans, I believe).

Sunspots and magnetic fields – when did scientists discover the connection?

November 17, 2011

Nick Lomb
Many sunspots are visible in this image of the Sun from the Solar Dynamics Observatory taken on 9 November 2011. Courtesy SDO/HMI Today we are fairly knowledgeable about the Sun. We know that sunspots come and go on the Sun with a period of approximately 11 years and that spots are regions of intense magnetic fields.

Transit of Venus – the book

November 15, 2011

In 2012, on 5 or 6 June (depending on location) people across the globe will have the opportunity to witness one of the most famous of astronomical events, a rare transit of Venus. This event takes place when, as seen from Earth, Venus crosses in front of the Sun.

Australasian sky guide – the book

November 15, 2011

A fascinating book to guide your exploration of the southern night sky The 'Australasian sky guide book' is written by astronomer, Dr Nick Lomb, and produced annually by Sydney Observatory. Each edition contains a wealth of information for keen stargazers, and includes monthly information for 13 months from December to December, inclusive.

Harry keeps watching the giant sunspot AR11339 as it moves across the Sun and notes amazing detail on its fourth day of visibility

November 9, 2011

Nick Lomb
A sketch of the giant sunspot group AR11339 on the morning of 6 November 2011 (EDT). Image and copyright Harry Roberts ©, all rights reserved We earlier viewed this very large spot group as it began to move from the east limb onto the disc - noting that NOAA first assigned it magnetic class beta-gamma-delta on the November 3 (Universal Date).

2012-01-26 Australia Day

November 4, 2011

10am – 5pm, 26 January 2012
Celebrate Australia Day on Observatory HIll, view Sydney Harbour activities and enjoy astronomical programs.

Good lighting, bad lighting and the lighting of the Shine Dome of the Australian Academy of Science

November 2, 2011

Nick Lomb
The heritage-listed Shine dome of the Australian Academy of Sciences has been lit up at night since Friday 27 October 2011. Image courtesy Australian Academy of Science On Friday 27 October 2011 the Australian Academy of Sciences circulated a media release titled, ‘Shine Dome lights up tonight’ and beginning ‘The Australian Academy of Science’s heritage-listed Shine Dome will light up from tonight; joining other landmark Canberra buildings shining out in a display of colour.’ I and a number of other people were immediately concerned about this media release.

November 2011 night sky guide podcast, transcript and star chart

October 28, 2011

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 audio sky guide is presented by Melissa Hulbert, one of the astronomy educators at Sydney Observatory.

ROSAT returns to Earth

October 21, 2011

Andrew Jacob
The ROSAT X-ray space telescope is due to re-enter Earth's atmosphere over the coming weekend (22-23 October, 2011). Dr Martin Anderson, Astronomy Educator at Sydney Observatory, writes about his experience using ROSAT.