astronomy

Southern Exposure

Montage of the moon in the southern sky.

From time to time you see photos pop up on the internet that show off bits of the northern sky. A good example is a montage of the Moon and Andromeda that show what size Andromeda would be in the sky, if only it were actuallty visible to the naked eye.

Bad Astronomy did a blog post on that one and explained that though the image is fake, the relative sizes are pretty much correct.

However, that's not a lot of use to us poor people in the southern hemisphere that can't even see Andromeda at the best of times. What even are these northerners talking about?

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.

Amateurish Astronomy

... in which I log my astronomickal adventures around linux.conf.au in Ballaarat. Verily.

Monday 16 January 2012

On monday evening I was invited to a property about an hour north of Ballarat to do some observing from a hill-top in an area without (much) light pollution. The evening was perfect and much was to be seen even without any optical augmentation. M45, the milky way, the coal sack & magellanic clouds were perfectly visible with the naked eye. Sadly the southern cross was pretty low on the horizon.