“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)
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 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.
Recently published research has demonstrated that the expansion of the universe and black holes may be linked.
Stardate South Island was held 17-19 Feb 2023 at Staveley, near Christchurch. It was a fantastic weekend and you can read all about it here.
Venus doesn’t capture a lot of press time as it’s often overshadowed by the more hospitable Mars and the more photogenic planets of Saturn and Jupiter. It’s not all quiet around Venus, as JAXA has Akatsuki orbiting Earth’s twin and sending back some great images and building our understanding of Venus.
We got AI to describe Einstein’s theory of general relativity, and the results are pretty good. We also got some AI images created.