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In this month - September

Its all about astronomy - 'In this month' blog posts feature significant events which happened and people born during the month who

Parhelion - it's a sun dog!

Photograph by Kim Kemmis at Macquarie Park, late afternoon, 30 August, 2018. It's very rare in Sydney to experience the icy, yet sunny, conditions and thin cirrus cloud that cause a spectacular halo around the Sun and a reflection of the Sun in the sky (at least once and often on either side of the sun in the line of the arc). Yesterday, my colleague Kim Kemmis captured the image above of the parhelion and parhelic circle on his way home from work (he was not driving). Earlier, at sunrise, Sydney City Skywatcher member Adriano Massatani captured the effect as seen below. The term 'parhelion' describes the reflection of the Sun and 'parhelic circle' is the term for the icy arc which shows col

Did you know? Asteroids

This month we feature…. Asteroids Asteroids come in all shapes and sizes, from the almost spherical to irregular like Eros which is shaped like a potato. The largest asteroid is Ceres at 940 km, the smallest is 2015 TC25 a 2 metre piece of space rock. If all the 600,000 known asteroids were combined their mass would be less than that of the Moon. Among the more unusual names for asteroids are: Asteroid 249516 Aretha (Aretha Franklin) - orbit is shown in the NASA diagram above Asteroid 16155 Buddy (Buddy Holly) Asteroid 9007 James Bond Asteroid 23990 Springsteen (Bruce Springsteen)

Outreach: Observing at Rouse Hill!

As part of the Sydney Science Festival, Sydney City Skywatchers supported the Stargazing at Rouse Hill House and Farm event organised by Sydney Living Museums and held on Saturday 18 August. Over 300 participants were welcomed to country by Darug elder, Auntie Leanne Watson. We were then treated to stories of Indigenous and western astronomy by astrophysicist Kirsten Banks. In the schoolhouse Moon phases were taught and the Sydney Living Museums guides and volunteers ensured the historic house was open for viewing and beautifully presented in candlelight. Sydney City Skywatchers: Trish and Ross, Andrew, Peter, Merrin, Honour and myself setup several telescopes, as did Sydney Observatory guid

Eclipse Party images

On 28 July Sydney City Skywatcher members, Ross and Trish, held a Lunar Eclipse party at Blues Point Park, North Sydney. They took some great images including the short video showing cloud moving over the partially eclipsed Moon (above). The images above were taken by Ross Mitchell at these times: animated GIF 04:55 c0951 04:58 (about 25% eclipsed Moon) c0969 05:13 (about 50% eclipsed Moon) c0985 05:27 (Moon going into totality) c1003 05:58 (Dark Red fully eclipsed Moon) Please respect copyright and contact Sydney City Skywatchers if you would like to use these images.

Solar observations: July 2018

For the month of July 2018 all Sunspot activity once again on the Sun remained extremely low.A total of 26 Observations were made for the month with the remaining days being cloud covered.This is the first time I did not see any Sunspots for the whole month though 2 very faint separate groups was observed by the 150ft Solar telescope at Mount Wilson.Most Prominences observed once again were quiet faint and small.No CMEs or Flares were seen.The total average classification value was zero. The total Relevant Sunspot Number was also 0. Due to bad weather the first observation of the month was made on the 2nd July UT. On that day no Sunspots could be seen. A Hedgerow type Prominence was observed

Did you know? Solar Eclipses

This month we feature Solar eclipses Depending on the alignment of the Sun, Moon and Earth there can be between 2 and 5 solar eclipses each year. The longest a total solar eclipse can last is 7 minutes 30 seconds. The last longest total solar eclipse was on 11 July 1991 with a totality of 6 minutes 53 seconds. The width of the path of totality is usually between 160 km – 269 km across and can sweep across an area of Earth’s surface about 16,000 km long. Last month, on 13 July, there was a partial solar eclipse visible from Tasmania. You can read about Dr Nick Lomb's observations here. People who chase eclipses are known as umbraphiles. There are many Sydney-siders who follow eclipses and you

In this month: August

28 August 1789 Saturn’s moon Enceladus is discovered by William Herschel using his new 1.2 m telescope which was then the largest in the world. Enceladus is one of the major inner satellites of Saturn and orbits the planet every 32 hours 53 minutes hours, fast enough for its motion to be observed over a single night of observation. Caroline Herschel worked closely with her brother. 12 August 1877 Mars moon Deimos (image above by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona) is discovered by Asaph Hall at the United States Naval Observatory. The moon is named after the son of Ares, the Greek God of War, and means terror. It is little more than a chunk of rock at 11km in length and orbits Mars every

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