Exploring the solar system

Start of the walk

At last week's telescope driver training I found out that Melbourne contains a 1 to 1 billion scale model of the solar system. It's an artwork by Cameron Robbins and Christopher Lansell.

The Sun is located at St Kilda marina and the planets are spaced out along the beach and foreshore back towards the city.

Since the weather was lovely today, I thought ... why not? The guide says you can walk from the Sun to Pluto in about an hour and a half, which would make your speed approximately three times the speed of light, or warp 1.44, if you like.

C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)

C/2014 Q2 animation

I trek out to a fairly dark sky site on the odd Friday evening to partake of some amateur astronomy at an observatory in the Dandenong ranges.

iOptron SkytrackerA few weeks ago, we decided to have a go at locating what was then a fairly dim object, C/2014 Q2. We found it with binoculars and in a relatively small (10") telescope. I'd just gotten a tripod-mounted motor drive for my DSLR, so of course we decided to have a go at imaging the comet.