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In this month: August

28th August 1789 Saturn’s moon Enceladus is discovered by Sir William Herschel during the first use of his new 1.2 m telescope, then the largest in the world. Enceladus is about 500 km in diameter and orbits Saturn every 32.9 hours, fast enough for its motion to be observed over a single night of observation. Enceladus is the sixth-largest moon of Saturn and orbits keeping one face pointed toward the planet. The moon is named after the giant, Enceladus, of Greek mythology 18th August 1836 Helium is discovered. The first evidence of helium is discovered by French astronomer Jules Janssen when he noticed a yellow line in the Sun's spectrum while studying a total solar eclipse in 1868. Helium i

Did you know? The Apollo missions

This month we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the Moon with a few little known facts of the Apollo missions. Where were you when the “one small step for man” was taken? Australia played an important role in the historic Apollo 11 Moon landing with the Parkes telescope - “The Dish” - broadcasting to the world the first pictures of Neil Armstrong stepping on to the Moon. One of the experiments left on the Moon from Apollo 11 is still in operation. The Lunar Laser Ranging Retroreflector measures the distance between the surfaces of the Earth and Moon using laser ranging. Seen below (l to R) the Retroreflectors left by Apollo 11, 14 and 15 (credit NASA). When Apollo 11 tou

Solar Observations: June 2019

For the month of June, 2019, though solar activity was once again was still very low, a few Sunspot groups did appear. On June 1st the Solar disc was completely clear of all activity and on the 2nd a Prominence on the NW limb and another on the SE limb, both quite faint were observed.Due to bad weather no further observations were made until the 5th. On that day once again the Sun was clear of all activity. No Sunspots could be seen on the 8th but a Single Arched Prominence on the NW reached a height of approximately 66,000km. Also, close to the equator in the NW a Filament was seen. These two objects remained on the Sun until the 10th. On the 14th an Inclined Pillar Prominence reached a hei

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