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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is a short video on how to find the Sculptor Galaxy in the Southern Sky. This is a beautiful and bright galaxy that is well worth a look at.
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 Hubble Space Telescope is currently in safe mode while technicians at NASA figure out what has gone wrong with a gyroscope that was found to be not performing properly. Hopefully it’s an easy fix and Hubble will be back to full operations soon.
Quasars are the brightest objects in the universe and are amazingly powerful. They are caused by Super Massive Black Holes.
The night sky is full of stars and some of the very brightest we see have some very interesting characteristics. Next time you’re looking at Sirius or Canopus you’ll be able to appreciate just how big they are compared to our very own star – the Sun.
It’s the Winter of the Planets and in the early evening this week you can see Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. Then there is the Lunar Eclipse on Saturday morning as well.
Next year is the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s voyage to the Pacific Ocean. One the things he did was contribute to a more accurate calculation of the distance between the Earth and the Sun by observing the transit of Venus.
The night sky this week is still all about the planets but if you’re quick, you can still spot some deep sky objects before the Moon gets too bright.
A great week for deep sky observing, why not try and see if you can Barnard’s Galaxy or the Saturn Nebula.