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 » »

saturn.jpg What first comes to mind when you hear the name Saturn? Rings, right? If the rings are what you want to view, you should do it soon. In September of next year you won’t see them, at least for awhile.
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First Mosquito

Posted by BC on March 26th, 2008

Mosquito Last night (25 March) I was outside watching the triple pass of ATV, ISS, and the Shuttle as they crossed the southern sky. The night was warm and still enough, and I enjoyed the evening. I felt rejuvenated at the thought of warmer temperatures in which to open my observatory and do some casual observing. I missed observing this winter.
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Jules Verne Delivery to ISS

Posted by BC on March 24th, 2008

ATV over cloud tops - NASA Jules Verne is the name of a cargo carrier that was sent into orbit to carry supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). Named after the famous French science-fiction author, the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) will carry materials to the space station, stay docked for an extended time, then after astronauts fill it with “unneeded materials” (trash) it will come back through the atmosphere. Upon reentry it will burn, destroying itself and the material inside.
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Astrophotography from A.S.I.G.N Observatory

Posted by Marc on March 24th, 2008

Amateur image of the Orion NebulaAmateur image of Eta CarinaBarry Armstead is an amateur astronomer who observes from his home built observatory in Eastern Australia. He has regularly posted his images on our forum and in recognition of the contribution he has made (not to mention the quality of his work) we’re posting a few of his images up here for general consumption: enjoy! More images after the jump and in our CCD Imaging section. Read the rest of this post …

Review of ‘Quips, Quotes and Quanta’

Posted by Marc on March 24th, 2008

qqq-book-cover-mini.jpgPhysics reveals great truths about our Universe which are amazing when fully comprehended – its applications to cosmology and astronomy are exciting. In contrast, the manner in which the discipline developed seems dry and uninteresting. Anton Capri has written a book which shows it to be anything but. Brenda Culbertson read it and you can read her full review of Quips, Quotes and Quanta: An Ancedotal History of Physics.

Dates for Easter – Moon Based

Posted by BC on March 20th, 2008

Blue Easter Bunny This post is not for religious purposes, but to help those of you who are asked if you know why Easter is so early this year. My own dad told me that I was “full of hooey” when I told him the answer. But here it is, folks:
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Aurora Watching Time

Posted by BC on March 14th, 2008

Aurora - BC The nights around the Vernal Equinox are prime for aurora spotting. Why Spring? No one really knows, but groups of aurora watchers are geared up and ready for the spectacular colours in the northern skies. I am one of these people, and I am set.

Spring is the time that favours the magnetic link between the Sun and Earth. During the Vernal Equnox Earth’s magnetic field is positioned for the best magnetic connection with the Sun. During this time the energy from the Sun causes bursts of activity in the rarefied gases in our atmosphere. Voila! Aurora. It is more complex than that, but that is the jist of it. Let me know if you want more information on aurorae. They are one of my fields of research.

You can also go to NASA aurora info.

Mars’ Split Surface Personality

Posted by BC on March 14th, 2008

Mars surface dichotomy - NASA/MOLA TeamNorthern Hemisphere: Smooth / Southern Hemisphere: Rough

During a recent conference, planetary scientists discussed ideas as to why Mars has different types of terrain in the northern and southern hemispheres. Two schools of thought have been discussed over the past couple of years as to why the difference. One idea is that something huge crashed into the planet and disrupted the “normal” surface. Another idea is that molten material inside the planet “bubbled” up to cause the smooth area.
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