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Dear Macquarie University Association for Astronomy members,

Welcome to another edition of the newsletter. Remarkably little to report this time, except that observatory and planetarium have been running smoothly. Still working on the planetarium fire certification. I would also like to advertise an event in the coming month. On September 18, at 6:30pm Fred Watson will be at the Ryde library talking about his latest book, Star-Craving Mad. The event is free (gold coin donation). For those of you who do not know Fred, he is an astronomer, but even more importantly (if there can ever be anything more important than astronomy) he is an incredible speaker and populariser of Astronomy. He is also a gifted musician and singer, but I do not think that those are the talents he will display at the Ryde library. Enjoy!

Best Regards,
Upcoming Events
Sept 18th, 6:30 pm
Fred Watson - Star Craving Mad - Ryde Library

Fred Watson will talk about his book Star-Craving Mad, featuring many highlights from his recent journeys around the world, exploring points of astronomical interest. In this light-hearted, informative and engaging book, Fred travels to some of those far-flung destinations as he weaves the epic story of humankind's growing understanding of the Universe. More...

Every Friday, 8:00 pm
Astronomical Observatory - Macquarie University Observatory

The Association for Astronomy and the Department of Physics & Astronomy invite you to observe the cosmos with your own eyes at the Macquarie University Astronomical Observatory. You will be guided through the night sky by our professional astronomy staff, who will show you planets, binary stars, nebulae, star clusters, and even bright galaxies through our 16" and 12" professional in-dome telescopes. All are welcome! More...

Every day, 6:00 pm
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

Finally, an FY13 NASA Planetary Budget, Just 11 Months Late - Planetary Society

Dawn journal: Distant interplanetary adventurer - Planetary Society

Results of ten Venus years of cloud tracking by Venus Express - Planetary Society

Chang'e 3 proceeding toward December 1 launch - Planetary Society

China Goes to the Moon and Beyond? - Planetary Society

The Walls of the Pit - Planetary Society

Probing Titan's Atmosphere - Planetary Society

I Heard It Rains Down in Mars - Slate Blogs

Climate Change: Rare Medium Is Well-Done - Slate Blogs

Astrophoto: Flames of the Milky Way - Slate Blogs

Symphony of Science: Black Holes - Slate Blogs

A Perfect(ly Named) Storm - Slate Blogs

Red Rock, Black Spider, Blue Moon - Slate Blogs

Why "The Big Bang" Is a Terrible Name - Universe Today

Astrophotos: Closeups of the Lunar Terminator - Universe Today

How to See Mars in September 2013: The Red Planet Pierces the Beehive & More - Universe Today

'Drift Is The Most Dangerous Thing For NASA' - Universe Today

Are We Martians? Chemist's New Claim Sparks Debate - Universe Today

Massive 'Grand Canyon' Found Hidden Beneath Greenland's Ice - Universe Today

Our Galaxy's Supermassive Black Hole is a Sloppy Eater - Universe Today

Curiosity Spies a Martian Annular Eclipse - Universe Today

Trojan Asteroid Found Orbiting Uranus - Universe Today


Getting the Picture
NGC 5195: The Dot Under the Question Mark
A Sagittarius Triplet
Strawberry Sun
Venus and the Triply Ultraviolet Sun
Nova Delphini 2013
Bright Planetary Nebula NGC 7027 from Hubble
The Colliding Spiral Galaxies of Arp 271
The Magellanic Stream
M74: The Perfect Spiral
The Sky this Month

The spring equinox occurs on the 23rd when the length of day and night is almost equal, about 12 hours each. Saturn and Venus are visible low in the west. On the 8th the crescent Moon is near Venus. From the 17th to 20th Venus is a few degrees from Saturn. The best time to see the Moon using binoculars or a small telescope is a few days either side of the first quarter Moon on the 13th. To the south-west is Crux (the Southern Cross) easily located using the two nearby stars called the Pointers. In the centre of the sky are the constellations of Scorpius (the Scorpion) and Sagittarius (the Archer).

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


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

Macquarie University Website - Department of Physics and Astronomy

© September, 2013

Image Credit: NASA JPL-Caltech MSSS Mastcam , Lorenzo Comolli , Pete Lawrence ( Digital-Astronomy ),

The Hubble Heritage Team ( STSci / AURA ), Alessandro Falesiedi , HiRISE MRO LPL (U. Arizona)

Swift S. Immler ( Goddard ) &  M. Siegel ( Penn State ); Optical:  Axel Mellinger ( CMU )

Hubble SM4 ERO Team

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