August 2011 night sky guide and podcast

July 29, 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 Mel Hulbert, astronomy educator at Sydney Observatory.

Transit of Venus preparation, part 1

July 29, 2011

Geoff Wyatt
by Stefan Tibar and Herve Meteyer On Sunday, 18th of July 2011, two young fellows from France have come to Sydney to renew the long French-English rivalry about the transit of Venus… Who, between French and British scientists could determine more accurately the distance between the earth and the sun using the observations made during the transit of Venus?

Les reports that Curiosity Mars robotic probe to land on Mars in a crater named for a Sydney Astronomer – Walter F Gale

July 26, 2011

Nick Lomb
A view of the 154-km wide Gale Crater on Mars, the selected landing site for the Curiosity rover. It is a mosaic of images from NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. Note the five kilometre high mountain inside the crater - its resemblance to a map of Australia is uncanny and maybe it was that likeness that led the International Astronomical Union in 1991 to name this crater after an Australian astronomer.

Harry asks, ‘What’s Up with The Sun?’

July 20, 2011

Nick Lomb
A flare on the Sun on 7 June 2011. A movie of this event is available in a previous post by Harry Roberts. Courtesy Solar Dynamics Observatory Only five years ago NASA and others were predicting that SC24 would be “one of the strongest in recorded history”.

Astro Imagers Gather for Inaugural Conference

July 19, 2011

Melissa Hulbert
July 2011 marks a first in this country with the Australian Astro Imaging Conference held this month on the Gold Coast, Queensland. This is the first time a large scale conference on imaging has been held in this country, and with a full house, indicates the interest and need for a conference of this scale to be held on a regular basis.

David Malin Awards and CWAS Astrofest 2011

July 17, 2011

Geoff Wyatt
  Each Year The Central West Astronomical Society (CWAS) hosts an event for amateur astronomers and the general public in conjunction with the David Malin Awards, arguably Australia’s premier astrophotography competition.

A visit to the Adler Planetarium in Chicago – 5 July 2011

July 13, 2011

Nick Lomb
The Adler Planetarium in Chicago on 5 July 2011. Courtesy nvidia.corporation Last week on the beautiful summer day of Tuesday 5 July 2011 I made my third visit to one of my favourite places on Earth, the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.

ASA2011 – Student Prizes and Gravitational Waves

July 8, 2011

Andrew Jacob
  One of the most important aspects of the annual meeting of the Astronomical Society of Australia is its strong support for students. Today's honours level and postgraduate students are tomorrow's professional astronomers, of course.

ASA2011 – Cosmic Rays and Neutrinos

July 7, 2011

Andrew Jacob
Today in Adelaide it is July 6, 2011, otherwise known as the fourth day of the Astronomical Society of Australia's annual conference .  I learnt a lot about 'particle astronomy' today. Normally we see the universe when photons reach our telescopes.

ASA2011 – Exoplanets

July 6, 2011

Andrew Jacob
I have to admit that my overall feeling here in Adelaide on the third day (July 6, 2011) of the Astronomical Society of Australia's annual conference is confusion. The range of topics is vast, the science presented reaches every niche and the telescopes mentioned are located across the globe and even in space.

ASA2011 – New Radio Telecope Surveys

July 5, 2011

Andrew Jacob
    The second day (July 5, 2011) of the Astronomical Society of Australia's annual conference continued the theme of New Surveys. This time it was the turn of the radio astronomers to tell us about their upcoming surveys.