Blackett Observatory Dome
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What's Up - Week of 25th May

  • Astronomical Twilight now lasts all night until 21st July

  • The Moon is First Quarter on Monday and will then wax to Full on 2nd June

  • The Sun has 5 sunspot groups at the moment, none of which is active

  • The ISS returns with two passes at the end of this week: On Saturday at 23.17.19 from SSW to E reaching 28 degrees and Sunday 22.23.32 S to E reaching 63 degrees

  • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week on Thursday at 23.36.45 at 39 degrees in WSW and Friday at 23.30.45 at 39 degrees in WSW


Random Blackett Image
Past Events - Prize Day - July 2005

News - 13th May

Solar open day: 15 Friends and College staff gathered on a clear sunny afternoon. The Sun was veiwed in the Solarviewer which clearly showed the enormous sunspot group 2339 and 2345. The ETX showed excellent detail of the umbra and penumbra of the larger spots and clear striation in the penumbra. The main pair of spots were seen also to split into further pairs. Some 7 other spot groups were visible. The 10" viewed the Sun in H alpha and was focused on the lower limb where an enormous quiescent Hedge Prominence was seeen in the process of lifting of the surface. A great deal of detail was evident and the shape change perceptively over the 2 hours of observing

24th April

NASA lesson: The top Remove Physics sets had a lesson with Dr Abell and were able to ask plenty of questions

23rd April

NASA visit: Dr Paul Abell, lead scientist for small planetary bodies at Johnson Space Centre, Houston, came to the College for an outreach visit. He talked to Physicits and Astronomers about detecting, monitoring and intercepting asteroids and then gave an open talk on Asteroid Impact Threat and the Chelyabinsk Event in 2013

4th April

Total Lunar Eclipse: CEB and a family group in Gembrook, Victoria observed the eclipse until Totality (only 5 minutes or so) as the Moon became a dull red colour. It was the first time that the pair of eclipses 2 weeks apart had been seen by CEB

Good Friday 3rd April

Outreach lecture: CEB gave the lecture 'The oldest GOTO telescope in the World' to a large and diverse audience at Mt Burnett observatory near Gembrook to the East of Melbourne. The talk was followed by Observing using the 18 inch Newtonian Relefctor (ex Monash University). Several new objects were seen, including the Omega Centaurus Globular and the Jewel Box Open cluster

1st April

Archaeoastronomy meeting: CEB met the Nura Gili Indigenous Astronomy Group at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. This was followed by an exciting visit to rare petroglyphs north of Sydney in the Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park

26th March

Sun-Earth lecture: The Rev. Dr Janneke Blokland gave the 12th annual lecture in the Ellis Theatre, 'Particles in the Spotlight', which was well attended by Friends and visitors

20th March

Partial Solar Eclipse: Astronomers past and present and Friends started gathering at 8am under cloudy skies. A glimpse of sunlight but nothing for First Contact. Then around 8.45am the Sun appeared and could be located in the 10 inch (with solar filter!). The ETX and filter was in use and all watchers had solar goggles. NMA created an amazing projection box and in this and the 10 inch the large sunspot was visible as well as the rugged edge of the Moon itself (mountains and valleys). Cheers went up as the skies cleared. Collinders were put to use and multiple images projected as planned. At 9am the pupils and CEB departed to join the whole College community on the XV Ruby pitch. 100s watched as the eclipse drew to a maximum, leaving a smiley face, aerial photographs were taken. The observatory continued to operate till Last contact at 10.38.59 UT. An experience to remember!

5th March

External vist: 20 pupils and 2 staff from the French exchange school near Versailles came up to the Dome. The afternoon sky was cloudy. All were briefed on the forthcoming eclipse and went away with solar goggles

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