When observing the planets in astronomy it can be quite surprising to see the different sizes that appear in the eyepiece and how this can change over time.
The Winter of planets continues with Jupiter, Saturn and Mars all at fantastic high positions over the week. Venus is also getting a bit higher out of the distorted atmosphere near the horizon.
A really quick round up of the week in space including a black hole swallowing a star, the Mars dust storm and Hayabusa’s journey to Ryugu.
We had a great time showing heaps of students Jupiter and Saturn during a talk about Matariki at Government House.
Now that your telescope is all ready, take it outside and start viewing the night sky.
Using a telescope for the first time can be quite daunting. So it’s worth taking the time to get familiar with the telescope and the mount and all of the accessories, so that you can make the most of your time outside and don’t hurt yourself or your new expensive equipment.
The Pleiades are a fascinating star cluster that is easily spotted not far from the Hyades cluster in Taurus and is visible in the Southern Hemisphere summer, Northern Hemisphere winter.
The night sky this week is a great opportunity to get your binoculars and telescopes out to see the fantastic nebulae that sit between Scorpius and Sagittarius.
A summary of the week in space in a minute. This week it was the return of Expedition 55 from the International Space Station, a meteorite puts on a display over Botswana and SOFIA arrives in New Zealand.
The night sky this week has a few treats including the asteroid Vesta, Mars and the Moon getting close, Jupiter’s moons crossing the planet and the fantastic nebulae in Sagittarius showing off.
Vesta is at opposition in June and will be easy to spot with binoculars.
Mars is getting closer this year and will at it’s closest by the end of July. But don’t worry it’ll still be about 58 million kilometres away.
The night sky this week will be dominated by the Moon, so it’s a good time to get out and appreciate the planets that are getting into a more favourable position for viewing.
Ian Cooper is a giant in New Zealand astrophotography. He has been capturing the night sky since the 1970s and in this article he takes us through some of the highlights and give us some tips.
Stellar evolution is a fascinating topic and what happens in the last phases of a star’s life is mind boggling. Some stars are so big that their collapsing core turns straight into a black hole that suppresses the supernova.
The 2018 Space and Science Festival, held at Onslow College in Wellington was fantastic, with great talks from NASA and Rocket Lab and plenty of interesting displays.
NASA launched Juno to look at Jupiter in 2011 and since 2016 it has been sending back fantastic images of the Solar System’s biggest planet.
The week in space includes the launch of the Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket, the planned helicopter for Mars and the BepiColombo mission is getting closer to launch.
A short video of some highlights of the night sky in the Southern Hemisphere from 11 May 2018.
Supernovae are quite amazing but there are even bigger and weirder events in the universe that occur when neutron stars and black holes get a bit too close for comfort.
In the 1960s and 1970s the Soviet Union and the United States launched a number of spacecraft to Venus that greatly increased our understanding of Earth’s twin.