Instructions for looking up in December 2019
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.
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 […]
This podcast has been recorded by us here from New Zealand for Space Place at Carter Observatory and the Jodcast, for the December night sky 2018. The Jodcast is a volunteer podcast about astronomy set […]
The burden of too much information is heavy, come and find out with us and Julian Priest, artist in residence at Space Place what you can do about it, if only complain, The Royal Society of New Zealand warns about blue light at night, NASA will land Mars 2020 at Jezero, an ancient delta on Mars, gravitational waves might or might not exist, the king is dead, Kepler run out of power, long live the king, TESS is the new kid in town. And last but not least, InSight is due to land on Mars.
April is the beginning of the season of the planets. Jupiter gets higher in the sky and Saturn and Mars start making an appearance. It’s also the month where we can start to fully appreciate the Milky Way as the Galactic Centre begins to rise.
The irony of finding alien life as it stands right now is that we must terminate all life on Earth’s instruments and spacecraft sent out there to make absolutely sure that new life is detected…
Six questions that drive us nuts because we are asked these constantly. So here’s our different takes on the possible answers.
Another year is upon us and January offers a great opportunity to get out and observe the night sky after making the best of those long summer evenings.