It’s time to update you on what is happening in the Astrophysics community and on our website. There is much to report on and get involved in.
New on our website is a Gallery of images taken on the 12″ LX200-ACF Meade Telescope. We have images of planets, nebulae and a globular cluster. Tell us which one is your favourite and why! There are more coming of the Moon, Mars, a galaxy… We look forward to seeing what our students come up with.
There is also a Forum you can participate in to discuss all aspects of the Telescopes in Schools Program and Astronomy in general. Please register, and participate in the discussions.
Transit of Venus
Most of you have probably heard that Venus is going to pass in front of the Sun on 6th June this year. Did you know that we, in Australia, have the best view in the world for this event? Look around, there is a lot of information, activities about the event, Apps and organised viewings both streamed online and live. Here is a good place to start;
There is an amazing history involving Australia regarding the Transit of Venus and it won’t be happening again in our lifetime.
*Please note that looking directly into the sun is very dangerous and special filters or glasses should be worn (Sunglasses are not enough!). See the sites above for safe ways to view the sun.*
Three years ago, NASA launched a spacecraft called Kepler. This spacecraft is essentially a Schmidt telescope designed for the single purpose of looking at how stars vary in their brightness to determine if they have their own solar system, and perhaps if these planets are in what we call the ‘Goldilocks Zone’. Not too hot, not too cold, but juuust right! Really, they are looking for a planet which is similar to Earth and may have life.
This has been an extremely successful program and Kepler has identified 1000’s of these Exoplanets in our galaxy. But Kepler 22b is the first confirmed planet in the Goldilocks Zone and most likely a rocky planet like Earth.
There are also a couple of international competitions underway at the moment;
The international Humans in Space Youth Art Competition encourages youth to “Be Inspired, Creative and Heard.” Closing date 21 Oct 2012
Hubble’s Hidden Treasures 2012 Contest where you can process one of Hubble’s images and turn it into an amazing piece of Art. Closing date 31st May 2012.