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In this month - June

03 June 1769 the transit of Venus was observed from Tahiti and recorded by Captain James Cook, astronomer Charles Green, botanist Joseph Banks and artist Daniel Solander. The Transit of Venus was crucial in helping to establish the size of the solar system. By noting the start and stop times of the transit from widely spaced locations on Earth astronomers can calculate the distance to Venus using the principles of parallax. The scale of the rest of the solar system would follow. After the transit Cook had instructions to sail south in search of the “Great Southern Continent”. He mapped the east coast of Australia in 1770. 16 June 1963 Valentina Tereshkova, Russian cosmonaut, becomes the fi

Guinness World Record Attempt

Sydney City Skywatchers combined with Sydney Observatory and thousands of others at Centennial Park on Wednesday 23rd May 2018, 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. to help break the Guinness World Record for Stargazing. Several of our society brought their own telescopes and showed members of the public how wonderful the Moon and Jupiter looked. It was a wonderfully clear evening. Robert took the image of the Moon above through his telescope eyepiece, and Ross Mitchell took the image of the Moon below through the eyepiece with his smartphone. If you joined us and would like to become a member of our society please use this link to join or send an email to: Our next event is

Solar Observations for April 2018

Every morning, when our Sun is shining, our astronomy society president, Monty Leventhal, sets up his two telescopes to make solar observations from his balcony in Maroubra, Sydney. Monty not only observes, he also photographs the Sun and completes a hand-documented map of the Sun, showing filaments, Sun Spot groups and other phenomenon such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Monty's observations are then sent to several recipients around the globe to be included in data sets. Here is a summary of Monty's observations for April 2018: The solar disc was clear of Sunspot from 1st March 2018 to the 12th April when a single Axx (1) spot was seen at 20° North & Longitude 332°. Though it could not

Did you know? - the planets

The Earth is not a sphere ! It is an oblate spheroid. Due to its rotation it bulges out at the equator about 43 km more than at the poles. If you stood at either pole you would be about 22km closer to the centre of the Earth. Saturn’s rings are not solid. They are made up of particles of ice, dust and rock – some as tiny of grains of sand, some much larger than boulders. The rings are about 282,000 km wide, roughly the distance from the Earth to the Moon, but are only less than a kilometre thick. You can see Saturn in May 2018 rising in the east after 9pm at the beginning of the month and a little earlier each night. Jupiter acts as a huge “vacuum cleaner”, attracting and absorbing comets an

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