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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...

April 1, 2020

Sidewalk Astronomy in the times of COVID-19

As an inner-city dweller who loves astronomy, I have found that one can still enjoy stargazing and telescope viewings in an urban setting.

There are certainly limitations to viewing with city light pollution but there are some advantages and if we are to feed our passion in the...

March 31, 2020

12 April 1633

The inquisition of Galileo by the Roman Catholic church begins. He was ordered to turn himself in to the Holy Office to begin trial for holding the belief that the Earth revolves around the Sun, which was deemed heretical by the Catholic Church. He was found guilty and agreed to stop teaching and spent the...

March 27, 2020

Every month there is a focus on an astronomical phenomenon by Sydney City Skywatchers' Secretary, Elizabeth Cocking. This month Elizabeth has researched meteor showers. In February meteor scientist and Senior Research Manager, Ross Pogson,gave an inspiring talk to Skywatcher members about meteorites and their significa...

March 8, 2020

Blamed for turning Bruce Banner into the Incredible Hulk, Gamma Rays and Gamma Ray Bursts are the most energetic and luminous electromagnetic events since the Big Bang.

There is more energy released in a few short seconds of a Gamma Ray Burst than will be released by the Sun in its entire lifetime.

Gamma rays have the sm...

March 1, 2020

7 March 1831

The Royal Astronomical Society receives its Royal charter from King William IV. The society was founded in 1820 as the Astronomical Society of London to promote astronomical research. At that time, most members were 'gentleman astronomers' rather than professionals. In 1915 A Supplemental Charter granted by...

February 7, 2020

This month  . . .  Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.

The most powerful storm in the solar system, so large Earth can fit inside it, still baffles astronomers today. The image above is an enhanced-color image of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot was created by citizen scientist Jason Major using data from the JunoCam imager on NASA’...

February 7, 2020

Professor Richard (Dick) Hunstead died on Thursday 30 January 2020 at the age of 76 after a short illness. He was a widely respected astronomer, who will be greatly missed by his friends and colleagues at Sydney University and at other institutions around Australia and internationally. The photograph above is courtesy...

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April 30, 2020

March 31, 2020

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