Archive for the ‘Astronomy blog’ Category

Daily cosmobite: Mysterious Martian plumes

Published by Andrew Jacob on February 19, 2015 No Comments

MarsPlume.Nature.2015A mysterious plume appeared on Mars in 2012. A recent analysis investigated two explanations: high-altitude water or carbon-dioxide ice or a Martian aurora. However, both explanations conflict with our current understanding of Mars’ atmosphere.

 

 

Mysterious plume on Mars. Image from The Conservation and Nature.

 

 

 

 

Daily cosmobite: Pluto was discovered 85 years ago

Published by Andrew Jacob on February 18, 2015 No Comments

NewHorizons.PlutoCharonOrbitClyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto 85 years ago on February 18 1930. He found it on a pair of photographs taken a few weeks earlier. Its moon Charon was discovered in 1978.

 

The latest from New Horizons spacecraft. Charon and Pluto orbit about a common centre – their “barycentre”, January 25-31. NASA/APL/Southwest Research Institute. Click image to see animated gif.

 

 

 

 

Daily cosmobite: Dark observing locations in Perth

Published by Andrew Jacob on February 17, 2015 No Comments

Perth.ISS026-E-5249Light pollution is the bane of city-based astronomers. This series of night time images was taken from the International Space Station. They help identify dark sites from which to best view the sky. This week we look at Perth.

Perth at night as seen from the International Space Station, 26 Nov 2010. Image, ISS026-E-5249, courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center.

20 Feb 2015, 7-10pm

This is an astronomical evening of exploration into the world of one of Australia’s leading scientists as you enjoy the stars with a drink in hand and nibbling on solar system inspired canapés specially designed by renowned chef Claire de Lune. Claire is the executive chef at Claire’s Kitchen at Le Salon and has appeared on both TV and radio in programs for the ABC, SBS and Channels 9 and 10.

Hear from leading astrophysicist Dr Lisa Harvey Smith; researcher, author and Project Scientist for Australia’s largest radio telescope. Dr Harvey Smith is an inspirational speaker, and you will have an opportunity to ask her about some of the big cosmological questions these large telescope arrays are being designed to explore. The Q&A session will be hosted by Claire de Lune.

You can also explore our Solar System and galaxy with astronomers, who will guide you to view through telescopes, and in the planetarium which creates an amazing virtual night sky.  This event is held in fascinating Sydney Observatory and is part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras program. It is open to all.

For adults 18+ only.
Cost: $55, Concession and members $50
(includes all activities, wines and other drinks, food)
Call: 9921 3485 or Book On-line

SydObs.Muntz.SouthDome.detailThe south dome of Sydney Observatory is made from Muntz metal, a copper-zinc (brass) alloy.

 

 

A stamp on the south dome showing this Muntz metal weighs 26 ounces per square foot. Photo by Toner Stevenson ©MAAS.

 

 

 

A Sunday cosmobite: Galileo’s birthday

Published by Andrew Jacob on February 15, 2015 No Comments

Justus_Sustermans_-_Portrait_of_Galileo_Galilei,_1636Galileo was born on this day, February 15, in 1564.

 

Happy Birthday Galileo!

 

 

 

 

Daily cosmobite: The Moon’s motion across the sky

Published by Andrew Jacob on February 13, 2015 No Comments

MoonBySydObs.1930The Moon orbits Earth in 27.3 days. From the point of view of an observer on the ground it appears to move a little over 13-degrees eastward through the sky each night. This means it rises, on average, about 50-minutes later each night.

 

Earth’s Moon – there one night, gone the next! Photo by Sydney Observatory astronomers 1930.

 

 

 

Daily cosmobite: A breakout of solar filaments

Published by Andrew Jacob on February 12, 2015 No Comments

SunandFilament.2015FEB07Several filaments, dark snake-like streaks, appear on the Sun today. These long streams of hot gas ‘float in the magnetic field above the Sun’s surface. APOD for 2015 Feb 10 claims one is amongst the longest ever recorded and it has been there for a week already.

Photographing the Sun with an iPhone is hard. Better views are had during our public solar viewing tours. Photo Andrew Jacob, Sat Feb 07, 2015 © MAAS, Sydney.

 

 

 

 

Daily cosmobite: Centenary of birth of Richard Hamming

Published by Andrew Jacob on February 11, 2015 No Comments

Richard_Hamming.wiki.BellLabsRichard Hamming, mathematician, was born on Feb 11, 1915. Among other things he devised the Hamming window – a mathematical filter used in digital signal processing, whose name will be recognised by many engineers and physicists.

 

 

Richard Hamming, 1915-1998. Photo by Bell Labs.

 

 

 

Daily cosmobite: Dark observing locations in Melbourne

Published by Andrew Jacob on February 10, 2015 No Comments

MelbourneAtNight.ISSLight pollution is the bane of city-based astronomers. This series of night time images was taken from the International Space Station. They help identify dark sites from which to best view the sky. This week we look at Melbourne.

Melbourne at night as seen from the International Space Station, 04 April 2012. ESA/NASA.

Search

About

The 'Observations' blog is run by the staff of Sydney Observatory which is located at Observatory Hill, The Rocks, in Sydney, Australia.

This site is for discussion purposes only and does not represent the official views of Sydney Observatory. Any views expressed on this website are those of the individual post author only. Sydney Observatory accepts no liability for the content of this site.

Please direct any correspondence about the content of the blog to:
observatory [at] phm.gov.au
and about web matters to:
web [at] phm.gov.au.