Tag Archive for 'Australian Astronomy'

Australian Moon

The video below is from an Australian Astrographer, Colin Legg. The video won first prize in the animation category and the filming used a number of special techniques and captures some unique or unusual events such as:

1.    Comet Lovejoy
2.    Exploding Meteor and vapor train
3.    A Total Lunar eclipse from start to finish

To see some stunning astronomical photos click on the hyperlink. This site runs a competition for their calendar each year. The link shows the entries and the winners.

Attached is a shot of the moon taken by Ray Keefe from his own 25cm Newtonian reflector telescope with a Canon 400D camera.

The square kilometre array in Australia will be a key part of an expansion in our ability to look in more detail at the universe about us.

SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) will be using it once it is online and there is a detailed explanation for the technically minded in this IEEE article by the new head of SETI . The movie Contact is a popular film based on the life of Jill Tartar who headed SETI for most of its existence. (They did extrapolate a bit).

One thing most people have not considered is the ability for many researchers to get data from the array at the same time. Because each antenna has its own feed and can be accessed independently, many different parts of the sky can be searched simultaneously by combining these feeds together mathematically in different ways. The only restriction is that the dishes can only point in one direction at a time. But within their pickup zone everything is potentially accessible at once. This is the one of the most advanced applications of aperture synthesis undertaken so far.

And good thing we are doing the NBN because the ASKAP will generate massive amounts of data that will need to be moved to researchers all over the world!

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Australian Astronomers Recognised Globally

The material for this post was provided by Ray Keefe of Successful Endeavours who is an amateur astronomer and member of IceInSpace, the Australian Amateur Astronomy community. Australian astronomers are a surprisingly active group with some recent recognition on the world stage.

First there was Australian Astrographer, Colin Legg, who won the first prize in the David Malin Awards animation category to be covered in a future blog post.

And now Martin Pugh has been recognised in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition held by the Royal Observatory for his picture of the Whirlpool Galaxy.

IceInSpace run a monthly newsletter and have an extremely active forum allowing interaction between members on a wide range of topics. Typically a forum is more interaction than a blog and is a better format for a widely varying multi-way dialogue like this. You can check out the IceInSpace forums at http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/index.php.

A good example of the sort of news you get from them is the upcoming Solar Eclipse on 13th November which is visible in Australia just after dawn. If you are in Western Australia the sun will rise eclipsed!

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