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 […]
In New Zealand, Space Starts with Sheep; a new season is about to open for exoplanets as scientists discover an efficient method to predict microlensing; Earth’s Moon to be used as a giant radio telescope; “Hello, Andromeda calling”, gravitational waves might be used to carry information; 1500 km long water cloud appears on Mars after the planet-wide storm from last month, while InSider probe has only one month left hurling through space, and will land on Mars in November; scientists narrow down the landing sites for Mars 2020 rover; change of plans, why not land among the clouds of Venus? Hubble and Chandra telescopes have been repaired, mostly by switching them on and off and stay tuned for the position of Uranus in the sky.
Riding on Elon Musk’s muscle power earthlings are preparing to invade the Moon again. There they will find that some of its craters have been renamed to honour the Apollo 8 mission, the first to orbit our natural satellite 50 years ago. Venus is hailed by the Parker Solar probe that swings by it, Jupiter’s Moon Europa has 15 meters ice spikes on the surface and Saturn’s rings are not just water nor all the lost airline luggage. Mars has to resign to the idea that earthlings have figured out how to grow plants on it. Not even perchlorates can stop them. And last but not least, New Horizons is unstoppable going towards Ultima Thule.
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.
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.
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.
Now that your telescope is all ready, take it outside and start viewing the night sky.
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.
Using a telescope for the first time is not the easiest thing to do, expectations need to be realistic.
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.
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.
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 highlighting some of the events in the last week in space, including this morning’s launch of Mars InSight.
This short video has a look at the current missions that are either on Mars or whizzing around it.
A wrap up of interesting space related news over the last week.
The night sky this week will see the reappearance of the Moon and the Planets will be in a more favourable position for viewing.
NASA’s plans to get to Mars are a bit slower than Elon Musk’s. They have many more steps and have plans to achieve some quite impressive things such as space station orbiting the Moon and capturing an asteroid.
SpaceX is well advanced in it’s plans to build a huge rocket to take humans to Mars and they plan to do this by 2024. This article has a closer look at the Big Falcon Rocket to see what’s so special about it.