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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 3, 2020

20 February 1962

John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the Earth in his Friendship 7 spacecraft circling it three times. The flight lasting 4 hours and 55 minutes and travelling a total of 121,794 kilometres reached a maximum 261 kilometres above Earth. He safely splashed down 1,290 kilometres southeast of Cape...

January 12, 2020

This month . . . Dwarfs. No, not Snow White and her seven companions. Dwarf stars. They come in a variety of colours and are the last stage in a star’s life. It is believed our own Sun will become a white dwarf at the end of its life.

White dwarf stars are relatively rare. There are only eight known white dwarf stars in...

December 31, 2019

7 January 1610

Galileo discovers four moons orbiting the planet Jupiter. Looking at what he thought were a group of stars, he noted the objects appeared to move in a regular pattern and realised they were in orbit around Jupiter. Today, Jupiter’s four largest satellites—Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto—are named the G...

December 23, 2019

DID YOU KNOW

This month . . . The North Star

The North Star or Pole Star is located close to the north celestial pole, the point around which the entire northern sky revolves. It is almost straight above Earth's north pole and when seen from Earth it appears to always stay in the same place in the sky. The image below wa...

November 30, 2019

11th December 1972

Apollo 17, the last of the Apollo missions, lands on the Moon. Eugene Cernan, commander of Apollo 17, still holds the distinction of being the last man to walk on the Moon as no humans have been back since. The mission carried the only trained geologist to walk on the lunar surface, Lunar Module Pilot...

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March 31, 2020

February 3, 2020

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