Astronomical Concepts – Week 4

This week's main topic was light. James Maxwell James Maxwell was a Scottish scientist who lived from 1831 to 1879. He is well known for the research he did on electromagnetism and light, building on the work of Michael Faraday. He produced a set of equations that explain the properties of magnetic and electric fields … Continue reading Astronomical Concepts – Week 4

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Astronomical Concepts – Week 3

The main theme of this week's session was the outer part of our solar system. This includes: Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto Asteroids Comets Oort Cloud Kuiper Belt Oort Cloud This has never been directly observed but it is believed to exist and it is an area of space on the edge of our solar … Continue reading Astronomical Concepts – Week 3

Astronomical Concepts – Week 2

The main topics this week were the solar system, gravity and the tidal effect. I have previously written on my blog about the solar system so for this entry I will just write about gravity and the tidal effect. The two main theories of gravity come from Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, both are used … Continue reading Astronomical Concepts – Week 2

Exploring the Heavens – Week 3

The topic for this week was 'The Characteristics of the Solar System'. The main items covered were the formation of the solar system, the planets and other celestial bodies such as comets and asteroids. Due to being ill this week I attended the Thursday class instead of my usual Tuesday class, but the format was … Continue reading Exploring the Heavens – Week 3

Astronomy at Questacon in Canberra

Questacon in Canberra has a pretty cool section on space and astronomy. Check out the pictures I took in the gallery below. A few of the highlights from this exhibition. NASA WMAP WMAP is the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe It launched on June 30, 2001 Has mapped fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation … Continue reading Astronomy at Questacon in Canberra

Exploring the Heavens – Week 2

The focus of this week's class was Celestial Rhythms and the development of the constellations. We started the class upstairs in the observatory and outside on the balcony with Paul describing our session and then identifying a few of the objects on display in the night sky, including a crescent Moon. Paul described how the … Continue reading Exploring the Heavens – Week 2

Exploring the Heavens – Week 1

On Tuesday 3 May I attended the first week of my new course on astronomy at Sydney Observatory. The course is titled 'Exploring the Heavens' and is led by Dr Paul Payne. The structure of the course is as follows: History of Astronomy Celestial rhythms The solar system The stars Telescopes So the course started … Continue reading Exploring the Heavens – Week 1