Get your observing on! Here comes October and what are we going to look at? New Zealand switched to summer time, that is we put our clocks forward one hour. We are seriously starting to think now about solar astronomy. As the fishhook of Maui sinks towards the western horizon, and with it the galactic centre, there are still many wonderful objects to see in the night sky. The Magellanic Clouds are still there and especially the Small Magellanic Cloud is good to observe after sunset. Grus, the Crane – famous constellation with double doubles is getting close to the Zenith this month, the Sun is in Virgo until November the 1st and Pisces lay on the horizon at sunset. Mercury, Venus and the Moon all get up close and personal just after sunset on 30 October. Mercury and Venus will be just under three degrees apart and the waxing crescent Moon will be just 8 degrees away from the pair of planets. Through a telescope you’ll see the three different phases of the different celestial bodies, with the Moon being just a slither, Mercury being 35% illuminated and Venus, nearly full at 94%. To achieve this configuration Venus is on the other side of the Sun to Earth’s position, with Mercury almost half way between. Observable comets are also in the Southern Sky, 289P/Blanpain and C/2018 W2 Africano at the Aquarius end of Pisces.
How many telescopes can you fit on Mt John? Mount John, New Zealand, is the home of University of Canterbury’s research observatory and Dark Sky Project’s stargazing tours. So, there are a lot of telescopes […]
Celestia is a very cool piece of software, which you can use to build asteroids. Here is how.
More reads from Holly
I have been reading more books this year at a rapid pace. These are the astronomy books that I have been reading. If you would like to follow what I am reading (not just astronomy […]
During the nationwide observance of Matariki, on a mild winter morning in Takapō (Tekapo), the Dark Sky Project was launched. The Dark Sky Project, formally Earth and Sky, took the next big step forward in […]
Prepare your telescopes, we have two amazing planets to observe. If you don’t have telescopes, join us at Space Place at Carter Observatory where we have telescope viewings every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights clear […]
A short video on how to find the Southern Cross.
Once you get to know your way around the sky and spend a lot of time under the stars you can start seeing amazing things. These are some of the things that I have seen […]
Often when people go and buy their first telescope they don’t think much about the mount, they tend to focus more on the capabilities of the telescope itself.
In May this year the potentially disruptive company, SpinLaunch broke ground on its new facility in New Mexico at Spaceport America. They aim to compete in the launch market by getting satellites into Low Earth […]
The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space was set up in 1959 to govern the exploration and the use of space for the benefit of all humanity.
The first human steps on the Moon were fifty years ago today. What an amazing achievement and a moment that brought the world together.
A partial lunar eclipse occurring on the 16-17 July 2019 coincides with the 50 years anniversary of Apollo 11 launching to the Moon. What doest that mean?
Here’s a quick video to help you find Matariki. You’ll have to get up early in the morning to catch this fantastic cluster in the sky just before dawn.
For all planet hunters out there From the start of the month Jupiter’s position just keeps getting better and better. At the start of the month it rises about 5:30 in the very early evening […]
Beresheet spacecraft entered lunar orbit and further speculation of the future of the SLS and commercial involvement in the Moon programme. The announcement that the Event Horizon Telescope may give us the first ever picture of the event horizon around the Super Massive Black Hole at the centre of our galaxy
The Vice President of the US announced that the administration wants the US to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024. For this to happen there needs to be a way of getting them there and the SLS will probably not be ready.
There’s a Rocket Lab Electron due to lift off on Wednesday, Beresheet is going to land on the Moon on the 11 April and SpaceX’s Starhopper might make it’s first tentative lift off with its one Raptor engine.
Tonight is the last Supermoon for 2019 so if you get a chance, go outside and have a look. But if you miss it, don’t worry, it’ll be back next year.