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August 3, 2020

JULY 2020...

The Bureau of Meteorology has not yet released its July 2020 report, however, there was 183 mm of rainfall in Sydney (the average rainfall for July is 76.8mm). This was spread over a number of days and at times rain and cloud which prevented me observing the Sun at 9am from my balcony in Sydney's south....

July 31, 2020

13th August 1898

The asteroid Eros is discovered by the German astronomer Gustav Witt at the Urania Observatory in Berlin, and independently on the same day by Auguste H.P. Charlois in Nice, France.

The asteroid, or to give its minor planet designation, 433 Eros, is approximately 16.8 km in diameter, rotates once every 5...

July 17, 2020

This month . . . .   Naming the three planets in our solar system discovered in “modern” times was not a straightforward process. There were several alternatives before arriving at the names we know them as today.

The first five planets – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn - were known in antiquity and named...

Monty has been observing regularly but over the past few months his reports have not been happy ones because the Sun has not been very active. Fortunately there was a slight improvement in activity in June and good news from ESA's Solar Orbiter Mission with the release of the first image early in July  and the images o...

June 30, 2020

4 July 1054

Chinese astronomers notice a star explode becoming a supernova in the constellation Taurus. It remained visible in the night sky for 653 days. The remnant of that exploding star is what we now know as the Crab Nebula. The supernova shone roughly four times brighter than Venus and for a while was the third-br...

June 7, 2020

This month . . . .   Orion

Named after the mythological Greek hunter, the constellation Orion is one of the most famous, and recognisable, constellations in the night sky.

Orion is a hunter with a shield in his hand, a belt and sword around his waist, surrounded by his hunting dogs Canis Major and Canis Minor and fi...

May 31, 2020

2 June 1966   

Surveyor 1, the first of the Surveyor robotic spacecraft, soft lands on the Moon. It was the first American spacecraft to achieve a soft landing on an extra-terrestrial body. NASA’s Surveyor Program sent seven robotic spacecraft to the surface of the Moon, its primary goal was to demonstrate the feas...

May 10, 2020

The Parkes Telescope - “The Dish” - from its historic role in the Apollo 11 Moon landing to looking for ET it has played an important part in Australian astronomy.  

The dish is not fixed to the top of its tower, but just sits on it. The moving part of the telescope weighs 1000 tonnes but is not fixed to the tower,...

April 30, 2020

13 May 1861

John Tebbutt discovers the Great Comet of 1861, also known as Comet C/1861 J1, one of the most brilliant comets known. He sent letters to the Government Astronomer at Sydney Observatory, Rev. William Scott, and to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper advising of his find. However, at the time there was no mea...

2020 is an important year for citizen astronomy in New South Wales with the assembly, and first  meeting to form the British Astronomical Association New South Wales Branch (now called Sydney City Skywatchers) held on 30 January 1895. John Tebbutt FRAS was appointed the first President.  

At the seco...

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June 30, 2020

April 30, 2020

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