What do astronomers wear at night?

June 7, 2011

Nick Lomb
Henry Chamberlain Russell was the Government Astronomer at Sydney Observatory from 1870-1905. According to one of his daughters he wore this cap when observing at night. Image and copyright Powerhouse Museum ©, all rights reserved In a recent issue (28 May 2011 pp37–39) of New Scientist magazine Stephanie Pain discusses the observing suit worn by Nevil Maskelyne, the Astronomer Royal at Greenwich from 1765-1811.

Monty images the increased activity on the Sun in early 2011

June 3, 2011

Nick Lomb
A prominence on the edge of the Sun on the morning of 13 May 2011 (Australian time) photographed in the red light of hydrogen atoms. Image and copyright Monty Leventhal OAM ©, all rights reserved Monty Leventhal OAM has been observing and imaging the Sun for well over a decade.

Planetary alignment on 28 May 2011

June 2, 2011

Daphne Gonzalvez sent us this photograph she took from Bondi early on the morning of 28 May. Unfortunately, the parade of the planets was not visible over the next several mornings due to a cloudy sky.

Asteroid 2005 YU55 to shoot by the Earth closer than the Moon on Wednesday 9 November 2011. Where and when can it be seen from Australia?

June 2, 2011

Nick Lomb
The position of asteroid 2005 YU55 at 9 pm AEST on 9 November 2011 as seen from Sydney with an indication of its track with respect to the stars and the Moon until dawn the next morning. Image and copyright Nick Lomb ©, all rights reserved On the morning of Wednesday 9 November 2011 a 400-metre wide piece of space rock designated as 2005 YU55 will hurtle past the Earth at a distance that is 85 per cent of the distance of the Moon.

June 2011 night sky guide and podcast

June 1, 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 Geoffrey Wyatt, Senior Astronomy Educator at Sydney Observatory.

June 2011 night sky guide transcript

June 1, 2011

This is a transcript of a podcast of the June 2011 night sky guide presented by Geoffrey Wyatt. Download and listen to the podcast as you gaze up at the night sky. Hello. My name is Geoffrey Wyatt and I am the Senior Astronomy Educator at Sydney Observatory.

The Moon joins Venus, Mars and Jupiter

May 20, 2011

Geoff Wyatt
Everyone hopefully saw the close alignment of the planets on Friday May 13th. The four, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter, won’t be so close again until Feb 2056 but they will continue to dance around each other for the rest of the month making a lovely early sight low in the east north east.

Nick meets Charles Darwin at the planetarium

May 18, 2011

Nick Lomb
Darwin's study as depicted in the Natural Selection planetarium show. Image and copyright Mirage3D ©, all rights reserved Last weekend (14 & 15 May 2011) I attended part of the Australian Planetarium Society's annual meeting at the Melbourne Planetarium.

Know your constellations: Leo the Lion

May 11, 2011

Nick Lomb
The main stars of Leo the Lion as seen from Australia looking east at about 6 pm AEST in mid May. Image and copyright Nick Lomb ©, all rights reserved – using Stellarium software The constellation of Leo the Lion is one of the constellations of the zodiac, meaning that the Sun, the Moon and the planets can pass in front of it during the year.

Watch the early morning planetary dance of May 2011 as four naked eye planets – Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter – jostle for position in the eastern sky

May 10, 2011

Nick Lomb
The positions of four naked eye planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter as they jostle for position in the eastern sky at 5:40 am before dawn each morning from 10 to 20 May 2011. Drawing Nick Lomb using Stellarium During May 2011 it is worth rising early despite the chilly mornings to view the dance of the planets in the eastern sky.