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In this month: September

Every month Elizabeth Cocking, long time member of Sydney City Skywatchers and current secretary, researches interesting historical occurrences and highlights people who contributed to our understanding of the cosmos who were born in the month. We hope you enjoy her findings. 1st September 1859 The first solar flare is observed independently by British astronomers Richard Carrington and Richard Hodgson. The flare was associated with a major coronal mass ejection (CME) that hit Earth's magnetosphere causing the largest geomagnetic storm on record. The storm, known as the Carrington Event, caused strong auroral displays - southern auroras were observed as far north as Queensland - and caused h

Did you know? Saturn's Rings

This month . . . . Saturn’s rings. One of the most majestic sights in the night sky. Saturn’s rings are enormous, but they are also extremely thin. The major rings have a diameter of 270,000 km yet their thickness does not exceed 100 metres. The entire ring system spans nearly 26,000,000 km when the faint outer rings are included. The rings appear to “vanish” every 15 years or so when they are edge-on as seen from Earth. This is known as a “ring plane crossing”. The next one will be in 2025. After that the south side of Saturn’s rings will gradually increase to a maximum inclination of 27 degrees and by May 2032 will be very well presented. Ring plane crossings are good times to discover n

Solar Observations: July 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. A total of only 19 observations were made with the remaining 12 days either cloud covered or rain. Sunspot activity was quite low during my observations with only three spot groups observed, most were single spots. No Sunspots were observed on the 1st 2nd & 3rd July and on the 5th 6th 8th 11th to the 20th. Most Prominences observed once again were extremely faint & small. No Fla

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