Summer is the season for Noctilucent Clouds

Full Moon and Perigee Moon converge for a Supermoon

Track down two asteroids, Ceres and Vesta

Planetary pairings of Saturn and Mars, Jupiter and Venus

The Perseid meteor shower peaks

The Equinox restores balance to days and nights

Mars meets its rival, Antares

An early Harvest Moon occurs in September

Look out for Noctilucent Clouds
Full details in the Sky Guide » »

Review of ‘The Formation of the Solar System’

Posted by Marc on August 30th, 2008

theories-old-new-cover.jpgSince we have come to our current understanding of how the Solar System works there has been much discussion and theorisation about its origins and how it was formed. Woolfson has described many of the old theories and more contemporary ideas in his new book. Brenda Culbertson has read it and shared her thoughts. You can read her full review of The Formation of the Solar System.

Error in Mars Hoax Post

Posted by BC on August 30th, 2008

Venus Map - S&T   I do apologize. I made a mistake in my information about the current apparent position of Mars. As much as I strive for accuracy, sometimes errors still occur.

Mars can be seen in the current evening sky. It still will not appear as big as a Full Moon, but is is visible as a small, red dot in the early evening sky, about half an hour after sunset. Mars is currently higher in the sky than Venus.

You can find a larger version of the map and other information at this Sky and Telescope site.

Mars Hoax: Round Five?

Posted by BC on August 28th, 2008

Yes, folks, it’s back. The Mars hoax is still alive and going strong. If you have not seen it yet, then you are one of the few.

Back in 2003, when Mars was at one of its closest approaches to Earth, an E-mail started going around about Mars being as big as the Full Moon. Mars had a large apparent angular diameter in August of 2003, but it surely was not as large as a Full Moon. Unless something happens to upset the order of the Solar System, and/or the laws of physics, Mars will never appear as large as our Full Moon from our vantage point on Earth.
Read the rest of this post …

The Great “Planet” Debate Continues

Posted by BC on August 21st, 2008

Pluto - NASA image   When is a “planet” not a planet, but an object in some other category? It depends on with which group you are associated.

The IAU defined a “Planet” as having to : 1) Orbit a sun; 2) Have enough mass to draw itself into a round shape; and 3) Have enough mass to clear out its orbit through impact or scattering.
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Free Audio Lecture Series

Posted by BC on August 21st, 2008

    Some of us are fortunate in that we have access to conferences where we can go to hear programs on the latest research. Some of us are not as fortunate and have to rely on printed material for our information. Now we can go to a web site and download lectures by researchers presenting their findings. The downloads are free MPG files, and the topics are current. The lectures are more of a non-technical nature, so don’t think that they will be hard to understand.
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Competition to win Astrophotography Camera

Posted by Marc on August 17th, 2008

DMK 21AU04.ASThe Imaging Centre is offering a DMK 21AU04.AS Astrophotography Monochrome Camera as a prize for those who can answer a straightforward question about the camera – a quick look at its specification sheet should help! You can enter at the Imaging Centre Competition website.

Observing Neptune and Uranus

Posted by Lydia on August 12th, 2008

Uranus and Neptune togetherNeptune is at opposition on August 15 and is easily located from August through October. Neptune, along with the other three gas giants, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus, all have diameters over 48,000 kilometres. (The other five “small” planets, including Earth, have diameters under 13,000.) Of Neptune’s known moons, only two are visible from Earth.

Uranus, along with moons Titania and Oberon, are visible at a good mag. 6 from September to early December in Aquarius. Read the rest of this post …

X marks the spot

Posted by BC on August 9th, 2008

Lunar X - spaceweather  For those of you who like to observe the many features on the Moon, how many of you have seen the “X”? As you know the appearance of lunar features change as the Moon cycles through the phases. The “X” is one of those features, much like the Straight Wall, that is visible only during certain times.
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