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Dear Macquarie University Association for Astronomy members,

Another Astronomy Open Night is behind us, and what a night it has been! We had well above 1000 people this year! The planetarium served 630 people and despite the fact that we only showed a short movie, the customers seemed to enjoy it. There is no telling what we can do for school children and the public at large with this excellent new tool! One of the great additions this year was the Quantum physics activities. They drew more Uh! and Ah! than we imagined, so I think our Quantum friends are here to stay! The talk was well received. It tackled a hard topic, but my impression and the comments I heard pointed to the fact that Prof. Melatos did an admirable job. Possibly, we also need to have a simple talk available, as we did last year. As always, thanks for your continued support and I wish you all a pleasant November!

Best Regards,
Upcoming Events
November 24th, 6:00 pm
Transit of Venus: the book launch - Sydney Observatory

Science journalist and broadcaster Robyn Williams will launch Nick Lomb’s richly illustrated book, ‘Transit of Venus: 1631 to the present’. This is the first major event in the lead-up to next year’s transit of Venus and an opportunity to hear more about the book from the author, enjoy a glass of wine, nibbles and have your book signed on the night.

Every Friday, 8:30pm
Public Observing Program - Macquarie University Observatory

On clear nights, we offer a "starfinder" session to demonstrate how to identify bright stars, constellations and planets. This is followed by observing with the telescopes. Even with the light pollution of the city, we can easily see double and multiple stars, open and globular star clusters, and the brighter nebulae. The Moon and planets, when in suitable positions, are easily viewed with any of our instruments. On dark, moonless nights with good seeing, we may also observe the brightest galaxies. More...

Every day, 8:00pm
Public Observing Program - Sydney Observatory

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. More...

Astronomy News

Youngest Exoplanet Discovered

"Baby" Planet Caught in the Act of Forming - Universe Today

Direct Image of Youngest Exoplanet Yet Discovered - Wired Science

Astronomer captures image of forming planet -

Youngest planet seen as it's forming -

New planet, the youngest ever found, is revealed by cosmic trick photography -

Astronomers spot the birth of a planet -


China's Space Station

Shenzhou 8: Photos From China's 1st Space Docking Mission -

China plans space lab docking - United Press

Chinese Moon Probe Tackling New Deep Space Mission -

China Will Own the Moon, Space Entrepreneur Worries -

How to Spot China's New Space Laboratory in Night Sky -

Bizarre Video: China's Tiangong 1 Space Lab Animation set to 'America the Beautiful' - Universe Today

China's Next Step in Space: Critical Docking Demo in November -

Guest Post: Jason Davis: China's first space station takes flight - Planetary Society

China launches spacecraft to test automated docking - New Scientist

China launches Shenzhou-8 bound for Historic 1st Docking in Space - Universe Today

China's Space Station Snapped By Amateur's Security Camera -

China's 1st Space Docking Mission to Launch Today With German Experiment Aboard -

Shenzhou 8: Photos From China's 1st Space Docking Mission -

China considering sending first woman into space -


Eris Gets a Closer Look

Are Pluto and Eris Twins? - Universe Today

Dwarf Planet Pluto's "Twin" Has Frozen Atmosphere - National Geographic

Dwarf Planet Eris Is Icy Double of Pluto - Wired Science

Faraway Eris is Pluto's twin -

Artist's Impression of The Dwarf Planet Eris -

Dwarf planet Pluto not so small after all - ABC Science


Bits from the Universe

3-D View From Subaru - Stephan's Quintet - Universe Today

Determining The Galaxy Collision Rate - Universe Today

Mass of the universe in a black hole - Next Big Future

Naturally Occuring Complex Organic Material Is The By-Product Of Stars - Universe Today

'Sweet Spots' for Formation of Complex Organic Molecules Discovered in Our Galaxy - Universe Today


Getting the Picture
White Rock Fingers on Mars
In, Through, and Beyond Saturn's Rings
HH-222: The Waterfall Nebula
Jupiter's Clouds from New Horizons
Draconid Meteors Over Spain
A Picturesque Venus Transit
Saturn: Shadows of a Seasonal Sundial
NGC 7635: The Bubble Nebula
The Sky in November

Jupiter remains visible in the early evening as a bright object towards the north-east. Low in the west are Mercury and Venus. On the 27th at 8.50pm the crescent Moon is located next to Venus towards the western horizon. The best time to view the Moon using binoculars or a small telescope is a few days either side of the first quarter Moon on the 3rd. Crux (the Southern Cross) is located to the south, near the horizon, making it difficult to see.

  • First Quarter Moon
  • Full Moon
  • Last Quarter Moon
  • New Moon


Information provided by the Sydney Observatory. Find the full information and podcast here.

Macquarie University Website - Department of Physics and Astronomy

© November, 2011

Image Credit: THEMIS, Mars Odyssey Team, ASU, JPL, NASA, Cassini Imaging Team, ISS,ESA,

Z. Levay (STScI/AURA/NASA), T.A. Rector (U. Alaska Anchorage) & H. Schweiker (NOAO/AURA/NSF),

KPNO, NOAO, Johns Hopkins U. APL, SWRI, Juan Carlos Casado (TWAN),

M. Postman (STScI), and the CLASH Team, David Cortner, Larry Van Vleet