News from space in January and February 2019
“MOA (Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics) is a Japan/NZ collaboration that makes observations on dark matter, extra-solar planets and stellar atmospheres using the gravitational microlensing technique at the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory in New Zealand. Further studies are also carried out.” (MOA Page, University of Canterbury)
OSIRIS-REx has been at Bennu for about a month on its mission to examine the asteroid and get a sample to bring back to Earth in 2023.
Hopefully in June next year NASA will launch Exploration Mission 1 on the SLS, which will be the first step in getting humans back to the Moon.
This is the fourth video in the series and looks at the area between the Southern Cross and the Diamond Cross, along the Milky Way, in the Southern Sky. You’ll need binoculars to see the objects in this video.
Unfortunately we will miss the Lunar Eclipse this Monday night/Tuesday morning and the programme for the next couple of years for eclipses is very light for this part of the world.
The five teams that made it to the final of the Google Lunar X-Prize are still working on their launch plans, despite the competition ending with no winner, with Moon Express and SpaceIL planning to launch this year.
Observing the transit of Venus was no easy task, it required careful observations and measurement. 250 years ago expeditions went out across the world to measure this amazing and rare event in order to help us understand the size of the known universe.
Party Time – Astronomy Style!
So you want to invite some friends over and you need a theme for your party. Why not make it as big as the universe, and take your guests on a view of the cosmos? It’s fun, it’s easy, and you don’t need a degree in the finer points of astrophysics (although that could be a hoot as well). The goal is for everyone to have a good time and not necessarily to earn three college credits in astronomy when the night is done. So let’s get started.
James Cook’s voyage to Tahiti in 1769 was the culmination of 130 years of work to observe and understand the Transit of Venus. Edmund Halley was instrumental in laying the foundations for the successful observations in 1769 and ultimately solving the Earth – Sun distance.
The Starship/Super Heavy combination that is the new name for SpaceX’s BFR (Big Falcon Rocket) is taking shape in Texas with construction of a test vehicle known as Starhopper.
On 3rd of January, China’s rover Chang’e 4 landed on the lunar surface. This was the first time humans have landed anything on the so called dark side of the Moon – it’s not really […]
I am an Astronomy guide. I live in the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve, working for Earth and Sky where we take people on tours of the sky and research telescopes. Because of my somewhat […]
This is the follow on video from Parts 1 and 2 and looks at the bit of sky between the Southern region and Orion, specifically between the False Cross and Sirius. You’ll also learn how to find M41 and M79.
Our very quiet Sun, that is casually wandering through the current solar minimum, had a sunspot visible today, which was all very exciting so we took a couple of photos.
This is the second video in a series to help you find your way around the Southern Sky at night. This video concentrates on the area between the Southern Cross and the Magellanic Clouds.
A quick video to show the basics of finding stuff in the night sky, no telescopes or binoculars required, just your eyes. This is part 1 so it’s just the basics of a few bright stars and two constellations in the Southern Sky.
Hot on the heals of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 trip to the Moon we have the real time fly past of Ultima Thule on New Years Day, only this time the distance […]
Just by the False Cross in the Southern Sky are the two beautiful clusters Omicron Velorum and NGC 2516. These are very easy to find, you just have to navigate from the Southern Cross to the False Cross.
The question of who owns the Moon has always been an interesting topic. Fortunately we have a treaty system to say that no one can own the Moon – but before this there were some very interesting and somewhat crazy claimants.
In 4 days it’s the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8’s arrival at the Moon and tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of its launch.