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Dear Macquarie University Foundation for Astronomy members,
Happy New Year! I hope you are all having a restful holiday season. I have just returned from a camping trip were I had the opportunity to see the Magellanic Clouds, our neighbouring galaxies. When I pointed out the Clouds, my friends were amazed. They had never seen them before. I was in turn amazed that you can live a whole life without noticing their eery appearance. I therefore call upon you to make sure that every time you are at a dark site, you point the Clouds out to all those with you!
On a different note, the Macquarie Astronomy Group is scattered about right now, mostly enjoying some holiday time. I am myself about to leave for the northern winter, heading to the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle, where about 3000 astronomers gather every year to tell each other of all the wonderful discoveries they have made. Check out this link, where many announcements are posted as the conference progresses.
Best Regards,
Orsola De Marco
Upcoming Events
Every Day, 10:00am/5:00pm
Sydney Observatory - Winning sky photos: the David Malin Awards 2010

With modern equipment amateur astronomers are taking increasingly spectacular images of the sky. In this exhibition visitors can view the winners and selected entries in an astrophotography competition open to amateur astronomers and photographers from around Australia.

Every day, 8:15pm
Sydney Observatory - Public Observing Program

Sydney Observatory is open every night (session times vary) and day (10am to 5pm) except Christmas Day and Good Friday. The links at left have all the information you need to plan your visit. Charges apply to night and day telescope viewing sessions which include visits to the telescope domes, telescope viewing* and 3D space theatre experience – guided and explained by one of the Observatory's astronomy educators.

Astronomy News

Voyager 1 at the Edge of the Solar System

The wind is no longer at Voyager's back - Bad Astronomy

NASA's Voyager 1 Spacecraft Nearing Edge of the Solar System - Space.com

Voyager 1 Has Outdistanced the Solar Wind - Universe Today

NASA's Voyager 1 nears the edge of the solar system: its 33-year journey in space - Telegraph.co.uk

Voyager 1: the Golden Record - Telegraph.co.uk

Voyager 1: a history - Telegraph.co.uk

Voyager 1 reaches edge of solar system - Telegraph.co.uk


Debate over Arsenic Eating Bacteria and its Implications on Alien Life

NASA Finds a "Weird" Kind of Life on Earth - Universe Today

Arsenic-Eating Bacteria Opens New Possibilities for Alien Life - Space.com

'Alien life' found on Earth by Nasa scientists - Telegraph.co.uk

Arsenic and Deep Space? - Planetary Society

NASA Hasn't Found Alien Life, But Arsenic Microbe Still 'Phenomenal' - Space.com

NASA's real news: bacterium on Earth that lives off arsenic! - Bad Astronomy

Best "Arsenic and Odd Life" coverage- Planetary Society

I Sing the Bacterium Arsenic: Post-NASA Press Conference Reflections- Space.com

Backlash/Feedback on NASA's Arsenic Findings - Space.com

"This Paper Should Not Have Been Published" - Slate.com

Podcast: Exotic Life - Space.com


Japanese Probe Misses Venus

Japan's Akatsuki to Reach Venus Today - Universe Today

Akatsuki Encounters Problems at Venus - Universe Today

Japan's space probe misses Venus but will be back again six years - Telegraph.co.uk

Akatsuki Fails to Enter Orbit of Venus - Universe Today

Japanese Spacecraft Misses Venus - Space.com

Come back, Venus..... - Planetary Society

Venus Probe's Problems May Cause Japan to Scale Back - Space.com

Faulty Valve Caused Akatsuki Failure at Venus - Universe Today


Giant Storm Develops in Saturn

Bright White Storm Raging on Saturn - Universe Today

Huge Storm on Saturn Photographed by Cassini Spacecraft - Space.com

Gigantic Storm With Huge Tail Erupts on Saturn - Wired Science

Cassini Takes Images of Growing Storm on Saturn - Universe Today

Giant Saturn storm snapped by spacecraft - United Press International


Is Television Good for Science?

TV as a source of science inspiration - Bad Astronomy


Getting the Picture
Lunar Eclipse from Sydney
Leonids Above Torre de la Guaita
M81 and Arp's Loop
Geminids over Kitt Peak
The Sky in January


  • 03:49:24 International Space Station Flyby
  • Quadrantids Meteor Shower
  • New Moon
  • Venus greatest elongation
  • Mercury greatest elongation
  • First Quarter Moon
  • Full Moon
  • Last Quarter Moon


Macquarie University Website - Department of Physics and Astronomy

© January, 2011 - Image Credit: Geoff Sims/NASA