Australian Sky & Telescope8 min lettiScience & Mathematics
The Story Of T Tauri
A CENTURY AGO, the universe seemed a static place. No one knew it was expanding. Indeed, Albert Einstein even temporarily added a fudge factor to his equations in order to keep his model of the cosmos stationary. But surprisingly, even after recognis
Australian Sky & Telescope2 min lettiScience & Mathematics
Recognising Excellence
Aussies who have a passion for astronomy and who share that passion by communicating astronomical discoveries and research with the public, are eligible to put their names forward for the prestigious David Allen Prize. Named after the late Dr David
Australian Sky & Telescope1 min lettiScience & Mathematics
Lunar Phenomena
Last Quarter …… 6th, 01:30 UT New Moon …… 13th, 10:21 UT First Quarter …… 21st, 14:40 UT Full Moon …… 28th, 18:48 UT Perigee …… 2nd, 05h UT, 365,423 km Apogee …… 18th, 05h UT, 405,253 km Perigee …… 30th, 06h UT, 360,309 km Last Quarter …… 4th, 10:02
Australian Sky & Telescope2 min lettiScience & Mathematics
Birthplace Of Worlds
One of my favourite objects in Monoceros, the Unicorn, is the open cluster NGC 2232. You’ll find it 2° north of Beta (β) Monocerotis, which is itself a fabulous multiple star to revisit with a telescope. At magnitude 4.2 and almost a degree across, N
Australian Sky & Telescope11 min lettiScience & Mathematics
News Notes
ON THE MORNING OF DECEMBER 1, a rumble echoed through the hilly terrain surrounding Arecibo, the iconic 305-metre-wide radio telescope nestled in a natural sinkhole in Puerto Rico. The 900-tonne receiver platform that had been suspended above the dis
Australian Sky & Telescope1 min lettiScience & Mathematics
Time To Get ‘Active’
There are only two minor southern meteor showers of note for March and April. The first is the Gamma Normids, active from late February through until late March with a maximum of sorts around March 14. The word ‘active’ is probably a bit misleading —
Australian Sky & Telescope1 min lettiScience & Mathematics
Essential Astronomy Reading
Every astronomer needs the Astronomy 2021 yearbook. Packed full of essential information to plan your observing sessions, it is a complete guide to what’s visible in the night sky, including Moon phases, planets, comets, eclipses, meteor showers and
Australian Sky & Telescope3 min lettiScience & Mathematics
The Next Big One
When we first began to hear about a new virus in China, it dawned on me that the city of Wuhan where the outbreak had occurred was where a former colleague of mine lived. Having become enamored of Chinese culture, he’d moved there several years befor
Australian Sky & Telescope1 min lettiScience & Mathematics
Other Observations
No other family of proplyds has yet been identified outside M42. The best-known correlate might be M16, the Eagle Nebula in Serpens, first observed in detail with the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995. In what some have voted to be Hubble’s most beautif
Australian Sky & Telescope1 min lettiScience & Mathematics
Using The Star Chart
Early March 10 pm Late March 9 pm Early April 8 pm Late April 7 pm These are standard times — add Daylight Savings if it applies to your location.  Go outside within an hour or so of a time listed above. Hold the map above your head with the bottom
Australian Sky & Telescope1 min lettiScience & Mathematics
Experiencing The Cosmos In Images
OUR SENSE OF SIGHT is perhaps the most precious of our senses. It not only enables most of us to function in the everyday world, it also lets us experience the wonder of the universe in which we live. For those of us who have sight, imagine if we cou
Australian Sky & Telescope10 min lettiScience & Mathematics
The Great Dimming of Betelgeuse
BETELGEUSE HAS BECOME A STAR — a media star, that is. Never in modern times has so much public attention been paid to a distant sun that hasn’t exploded. Astronomers have been keenly interested in Orion’s alpha star for some time, but now it’s a subj
Australian Sky & Telescope3 min lettiScience & Mathematics
Lonesome Mars
For most of the hours of darkness during March and April, the sky will be largely devoid of bright planetary targets, with Mars being the sole exception. Let’s take a look at what we can expect to see. Mercury (mag. 0.0, dia. 6.3”, Mar. 15) can be s
Australian Sky & Telescope2 min lettiScience & Mathematics
In Brief
A study led by Christopher Kyba (GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences) shows that while streetlights are an important source of light pollution, they’re far from the only culprits. The city of Tucson, Arizona, has connected more than 19,000 LED
Australian Sky & Telescope2 min lettiScience & Mathematics
The Trekking Pole Travel Scope
ON A TRIP TO SOUTH AMERICA a year or so ago, Robert Capon made the decision to travel light, leaving his portable telescope at home. That was a mistake, as all he had to appreciate the sky was his 8x42 binoculars. He did take his carbon-fibre trekkin
Australian Sky & Telescope9 min lettiScience & Mathematics
Orion’s Club District
Orion, the giant hunter of Greek mythology, rules our northwestern skies even into early autumn. Astride the celestial equator for all to see, the showcase constellation with the brilliant star pattern is a delight to the eye and a feast for the tele
Australian Sky & Telescope1 min letti
AUSTRALIAN SKY & TELESCOPE
EDITOR Jonathan Nally ART DIRECTOR Lee McLachlan CONTRIBUTING EDITORS John Drummond, David Ellyard, Alan Plummer, David Seargent, EMAIL info@skyandtelescope.com.au ADVERTISING MANAGER Jonathan Nally EMAIL jonathan@skyandtelescope.com.au Ian Brooks E
Australian Sky & Telescope2 min lettiScience & Mathematics
Catch An ISS Transit
The International Space Station is often one of the brightest objects in the night sky. Many of us enjoy its regular appearances during morning and evening twilight when it passes silently across the sky, ferrying its human cargo at more than 27,600
Australian Sky & Telescope4 min lettiScience & Mathematics
Lunar Main Sequence
In astronomy, the main sequence is the continuous band of stars spanning the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, which plots stellar colour and intrinsic brightness. When a large main-sequence star runs out of hydrogen fuel, it becomes cooler, redder and ra
Australian Sky & Telescope1 min lettiScience & Mathematics
The Main Belt
The main belt extends from about 2 to 3.3 astronomical units, between Mars (at 1.5 a.u.) and Jupiter (5.2 a.u.). The asteroids in it range in width from about 965 km to less than 10 metres. ■
Australian Sky & Telescope3 min lettiScience & Mathematics
In Praise Of Procyon
Procyon is the one bright star in Canis Minor, the Little Dog. It’s often called the Lesser Dog Star because, at magnitude +0.4, it shines a full two magnitudes fainter than the night sky’s most brilliant star, Sirius, the Dog Star in Canis Major, th
Australian Sky & Telescope4 min lettiScience & Mathematics
Pieces Of Other Worlds
AFTER A SIX-YEAR JOURNEY of 5.24 billion kilometres, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Hayabusa 2 mission returned to Earth on December 6, releasing its sample-return capsule during Earth flyby. Aboard was the precious ‘treasure ches
Australian Sky & Telescope3 min lettiScience & Mathematics
Dawn Of The Asteroids
We’ve known of the existence of ‘minor planets’ or asteroids in the Solar System since the start of the 19th century, when Ceres, Vesta and some others of the largest ones were first detected. Since then the number known, large and small, has grown t
Australian Sky & Telescope12 min lettiScience & Mathematics
How Did We Get The Asteroid Belt?
THE ASTEROID BELT DIVIDES THE SOLAR SYSTEM IN TWO, with rocky planets near the Sun and giants relegated to the outskirts. Most of the belt’s mass is locked up in just four asteroids, massive objects whose origins are under investigation. But this str
Australian Sky & Telescope2 min lettiScience & Mathematics
Mark Blackford
Mark Blackford joined the Astronomical Society of NSW in 1980 and has enjoyed visual observing for more than 40 years. Recently he has been actively involved in developing and promoting DSLR photometry. He is director of the Variable Stars South grou
Australian Sky & Telescope1 min lettiScience & Mathematics
Sky Phenomena
2 Moon 7° north-east of Spica 3 Mars 2.7° south of the Pleiades 5 Moon 6° north-west of Antares 6 Jupiter 0.5° south-west of Mercury 6 Mercury greatest elong. west (27.3°) 10 Saturn 4° north-east of the Moon 11 Jupiter 4° north-west of the Moon
Australian Sky & Telescope2 min lettiScience & Mathematics
A Triplet Of Variables
Chamaeleon is a little-known constellation in the far southern sky. It is, however, an old one. Its origins date back to the first European explorers of the southern seas, who celebrated new-found exotic animals by placing them in the sky. Well-known
Australian Sky & Telescope2 min lettiScience & Mathematics
A ‘Well Matured’ Comet
Early autumn 2021 will see yet another comet discovered using the Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Alert System (ATLAS) come within the visual range of small telescopes. Discovered with the 0.5-m Schmidt telescope at Mauna Loa on September 12 last year (a
Australian Sky & Telescope1 min lettiScience & Mathematics
Will Betelgeuse Ever Go Supernova?
It might seem a silly question, but astronomers aren’t certain Orion’s red supergiant will have a spectacular demise. Observations haven’t turned up clear examples of supernovae from red supergiants born with more than about 20 solar masses. (Betelge
Australian Sky & Telescope7 min lettiScience & Mathematics
Picturing Galaxies
BEYOND THE MILKY WAY, there are a seemingly limitless number of galaxies that stretch to the edge of the observable universe. Except for all but the nearest dozen or so, their great distances from us make them appear maddeningly small and faint. Addi
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