Happenings in Astronomy

There has been a lot happening in the world of Astrophysics, but then there always is! Trying to keep up is a full time job in itself, so lucky for you I have compiled a list of some of the coolest things currently going on in Astronomy at the moment and some upcoming events that you may be interested in. So grab a cuppa, put the assignment or marking away and take some time to explore a couple or even all of the links below.

Transit of Venus

You saw the Transit of Venus yourself, now see how the Transit was viewed from two different locations and see the Parallax Effect in action.


New Hubble View of the Universe

Newly processed data from the Hubble Space Telescope sees even more galaxies than before with the eXtreme Deep Field (XDF) Survey. The data collected over a total of 2 million seconds has imaged the most distant galaxies.



More to the Milky Way than meets the eye.

Astronomers have found a gas cloud that surrounds the Milky Way which is hotter than the surface of the Sun and contains enough gas to make up 60 million stars. This may also be the missing Bayonic (or normal) matter.


Oldest Galaxy Found

This Galaxy is 13.2 billion years old


There are lots of events coming up as well:

Australian Institute of Physics Competition

Do an amazing Physics experiment and be the warm-up talk for Nobel Laureate Prof Brian Schmidt at the AIP Congress in Sydney in December. Expressions of Interest closes on 15th Oct, reports are due 15th Nov. Details at;


Solar Week Oct 15-19

With the Total Eclipse coming up, what a great time to get to know the Sun a little better with all the activities and interaction with Solar scientists. The activities can be done anytime with a whole week of lesson plans, games and worksheets, the Solar scientists will only be logging on next week.


Prof Brian Schmidt

Just in case you don’t with the AIP prize, you may still have the chance to chat with Nobel Laureate Prof Brian Schmidt as the Royal Institute of Australia streams a live interview on Thursday 25th October from 11am-12:30pm at livestreaming.riaus.org.au

Students will be able to ask questions during the interview, but you must register your class and questions prior to the day.

Total (and Partial) Eclipse

14th November 2012 This link will tell you when and how much of the eclipse you will see if you can’t get to Cairns and how it all works.

Opportunity to see the Total Eclipse

Hands-On UniverseTM 2-day Teacher Professional Development Workshop – Thurs 8th & Fri 9th November

Student Astronomy Education Conference Tues 13th to Fri 16th Nov – “Under a Darkened Star”

Both events will be in Cairns area and students will be taken to the Eclipse site for viewing.

Further details:

Mr David Platz (ASA Assoc Member)

Astronomy Education Program Manager & Head of Senior Schooling

Atherton State High School

Mob 0427 445 296

Email dplat4@eq.edu.au


The Science Teachers Association of Victoria Conference in being held at LaTrobe University again this year on the 29-30th November. There are some Astronomy workshops being offered by our good friends Rob Hollow from CSIRO and Trish Christies from Melbourne Museum as well as ‘yours truly’. There are heaps of other cool workshops on technology as well including quite a few from the guys out at Quantum Victoria. Download the program and register here.

Comet in a years time – Start planning now!

Information on the Comet and how to see it here:


Lastly, some amazing Astrophotography to look at and aspire to.

Rotation of Jupiter

See some amazing Amateur Astrophotography of Jupiter compiled into a video.


A Year of Mars Observations by Efrain Morales

There are lots of other sensational images as well.


Astronomy Photography Winners for 2012



Well, if you managed to get through all of that, you had better get back to work! If you think I have missed anything, please let us know!

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