News, news and more news

There is a lot of cool Astronomy stuff going on at the moment and definitely time I filled you in on it all (well some of it anyway!)

  • Missed the eclipse? Don’t worry, Australia will experience a partial eclipse next year.

May 10 from 8am to 10am in Melbourne with 25% coverage. Put it in your diary and get planning. Also, please let me know what your plans are! Full details on a DIY pinhole camera from Paul Floyd. Thanks Paul.

  • The summer sky is here and Jupiter will be the brightest object in the night sky at the moment, other than the moon.

Look to the East just after sunset and Jupiter will be shining brightly. (That is if these Melbourne clouds go away!) In fact Jupiter is in opposition at the moment, which means it is at it’s closest to Earth.

  • We have been talking about the Sun a lot this year and now Australia has just unveiled their new radio telescope.

The MWA telescope in Western Australia will be able to warn us of Solar storms that could potentially damage and disrupt electrical devices and power supplies on Earth. Many of the Astrophysics Group at The University of Melbourne have been involved in this project.

  • There are a couple of very cool images around at the moment;

Saturn’s hexagonal storm at it’s North Pole taken by Cassini

The Total Eclipse from 37 km above the Earth

The second hot day in a row, the last talk of the conference and the one lecture theatre without any aircon, I was not expecting too many participants, but very pleasantly surprised with a fantastic turn up. There were also a few who stuck around afterwards to discuss Astronomy outreach further with a couple of potential exciting collaborations to come in the future!

I also had the chance to put my teacher hat on and attend a couple of workshops looking at using the iPad with LabQuest 2 and scaffolding science experiment reports with Roland Gesthuizen. Both were extremely informative and entertaining sessions, so thank you to those presenters.

Thanks also to those who braved the last session and the heat to listen to me talk about how great doing astronomy is. Big thanks to David for presenting with me and sharing his perspective on what the Astronomy program has done to motivate and interest his students in Science.

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