SATURN OBSERVATION CAMPAIGN - (Click for updates and photos)
(Noeleen is the "NASA Saturn Observation Campaign" representative for the SAS)
NASA SPACE PLACE WEBSITE - (Website for Kids)
NASA MISSION-CHRONICLES - (Scientists and engineers on NASA missions share their experiences and findings)
SKY & TELESCOPE - (Click to read)
SPACE.COM News - (Click to read)
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF VARIABLE STAR OBSERVERS (AAVO) WRITERS BUREAU - (Click to read)
This amazing celestial event is nearly upon us and even though you will not see the whole event here on the Gold Coast you will definitely see a partial eclipse of the Sun early on Wednesday morning. Information from (Quasar Publishing) Astronomy 2012 (Page 7) is that Brisbane is in mid-eclipse at 6.57am with the Sun at 27 degrees above the horizon. Cairns will have Totality at 6.40am and the Sun will only be 14 degrees above the horizon.
Viewing the Sun is dangerous…always project the Suns image onto a flat plain light colour surface and never look through an telescope, binoculars or camera viewfinder unless it has an approved solar filter attached to the lenses.
Many of our members will be travelling to Cairns where the Total Solar Eclipse will be seen. There will also be live web casts where you can log onto the Internet and view this amazing celestial event as it’s happening.
Please go to NASA’s Sun-Earth Day web site below where you can find the links to the web cast and lots of educational material. The Cairns Tourism and Cairns Regional Council have played a huge role with NASA’s Sun-Earth Day team in bringing this live link for everybody to enjoy the Total Eclipse of the Sun here in Australia…enjoy :-)
Please also find some other web sites that may help you in observing, learning and photographing the Solar Eclipse.
http://www.eclipse.aaq.org.au/ (An excellent web site for the public and teachers)
http://xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/SolarEclipseExposure.html (Help with exposure times)
SAS members and friends please send your images through to Ian Thackwell so everybody can see them at: email@example.com
Best of luck with everybody on the day, and don’t forget to take the time while your photographing to enjoy this stunning spectacle…I have to remember to do this myself during all of the excitement…Noeleen Lowndes :-)
You are invited to the 2012 'Combined Societies Meeting’ that is being held at the Griffith University’s Nathan Campus at Kessels Road,
Mt Gravatt in Brisbane starting at 7.30 p.m.
The meeting will be held in Lecture Theatre 0.05 in the Science2 Building (N34) please find below the link to the site map for the University.
Free undercover parking is provided in the Ridge Carpark (N38) after 7.00 p.m.
On the night a member from each club will present an informative presentations on what they are doing in Astronomy and Space. Mario Vecchi will be presenting a talk on behalf of SAS titled "The Transit of Venus, the AU and the French Connection". Also during the evening the prestigious ‘2012 Discovery and Achievement Awards’ will be presented to the recipients of these outstanding awards.
After the presentations a lovely supper will be supplied for the enjoyment of all. Some lucky person will also win a lucky door prize, which has generously been donated by Ron Gibson from Sirius Optics at Underwood. http://www.sirius-optics.com.au/
So please come along and enjoy a great evening of Astronomy & Space with members from the Southern Astronomical Society (SAS), Brisbane Astronomical Society (BAS), Redlands Astronomical Society (RAS), Astronomical Association of Queensland (AAQ) & South East Queensland Astronomical Society (SEQAS).
See you there….Noeleen Lowndes (Vice-president)
On Saturday the 28th July 2012 SAS members and friends held a community astronomy night to show the magnificent planet Saturn and Moon
through our telescopes.
The weather was absolutely perfect along the waterfront at Paradise Point and our telescopes looked fantastic all set up in the park. About 450 members of the public took the opportunity to visit us and view Saturn, the Moon and other deep sky objects in the night sky.
It’s quite amazing to think that we have the Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn at this very moment taking stunning images of the planet and its icy moons.
If you would like to find our more about this incredible mission and see all the amazing images please go to: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov
Thank so much you to all our members who supported this event for the community; please find some images below from the evening. Special thanks to our budding photographer Monique Thackwell who ran around to take images of us all :-)
Noeleen Lowndes (NASA’s SOC member in Australia)
On the Gold Coast we had near perfect weather for this rare astronomical event of Venus transiting across the face of the Sun. We started setting up our telescope from 6.30am along the Esplanade at Paradise Point where we were greeted with a magnificent Sunrise over the water.
Our equipment was all set up and we were waiting for first contact when out of nowhere cloud swept up from the eastern sky to block out the Sun…we could not believe it...we waited and waited for it to clear and I jumped up and down in frustration…and then just like that, the clouds parted just in time before first contact!!! (I must try that more often)
We all had our eyes glued to our eyepieces and camera viewfinders waiting for the first hint of 1st contact. All of a sudden right on time we could see the slight darkening on the Suns limb as Venus merged into the Suns disc…it was amazing!!!
We were all very excited and concentrated on photographing the first and second contacts, as this was one of the most important parts of the Transit. After that, the whole day stayed perfectly clear, we took our images and showed many people this amazing celestial event. Channel Nine came down to the park and took video of us with our telescopes that was later shown on the local 5.30pm Gold Coast news.
I also received phone calls from BBC in London and BBC in Manchester for live radio interviews for their listeners. It’s quite remarkable that people in the UK were so excited about the event and wanted to know what SAS members were seeing and how we felt.
Please find below some photographs from our day at Paradise Point where we all had a wonderful day together viewing this rare alignment between the Earth, Venus and the Sun.
Other members will also be sharing there experiences from the day and sending Ian there photographs, so please come back and read there stories and see many more images of the Transit of Venus.
Joe Zerafa safely views the Transit in solar glasses.
Yes, John Crane has done it…his telescope is now tracking Venus. Yeah!!!
Kevin Dixon shows Pam Nelson the Transit through his telescope.
Phil Pidgeon and Nick having a great day looking at the Transit.
Hans, Noeleen, Jenny & Joe with Jenny Robinson’s telescope.
Sky and John Reichelt safely projecting the Suns image.
Sky’s amazing set up, and she got a perfect projected view of the Transit!
Projected image of the Sun with Venus tracking across the surface.
Noeleen and Graham Lowndes, my husband came to see what is was all about!
Lyn Ahern and Jenny by Noeleen’s telescope.
Warwick Burgess with his amazing binocular set-up to look at the Transit.
Kevin Dixon and Warwick with his telescope.
Toni, Justin and Colt thoroughly enjoyed looking through Kevin’s telescope.
The projected view of the Transit with Warwick's set-up.
Venus is the second planet out from the Sun and on very rare occasions there is a perfect alignment where Venus is between the Earth and Sun and we can see the outline of the planet (as a small black dot) moving slowly across the face of the Sun, this phenomenon is known as a Transit of Venus.
On the morning of Wednesday the 6th June 2012 starting at 8.15am Venus will start to move across the face of the Sun, the whole amazing event will take just over 6 hours to complete. The last time SAS members witnessed this same event on the Gold Coast was on the 8th June in 2004.
Transits of Venus are very RARE, they occur in a 243-year cycle, with a pair of Transits occurring only 8 years apart and then not again for another 105.5 years and then 121.5 years to make up the full cycle of 243 years. So if you miss seeing this one, you'll never see it again in your lifetime, as the next one will be in 2117.
To find out more about the Transit of Venus please go to the following web pages:
Sun Earth Day: Shadows of the Sun – 2012 Transit of Venus:
Transit Of Venus Australia 2012
NASA Eclipse Web Site:
Steps for safe viewing of astronomical events
SAS members will be viewing the Transit at Esplanade Park at Paradise Point, this is not a public event but if you are in the area you are welcomed to come see the Transit in our telescopes. Some of our members will also be at schools around the Gold Coast showing students the event.
Best wishes for a clear day, and please don't look at the Sun without proper eye
protection…Noleeen Lowndes (President)
*Saturday the 28th January from 7.00 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.*
Come along for a FREE viewing of the beautiful planet Jupiter 'Esplanade North Park'
The Esplanade at Paradise Point on the Gold Coast (Opposite Nankeen Ave)
Members from the Southern Astronomical Society invite you and your family
to come view the magnificent planet Jupiter, the Moon & other celestial objects in the night sky through our large telescopes.
*Unfortunately if the weather is cloudy the event will be cancelled*