Backyard AstroScience > Articles by: Mike Thompson

Robotic Telescopes, Student Research and Education Conference and International Astronomy Teaching Summit

Robotic Telescopes, Student Research and Education ConferenceBackyard AstroScience will be part of the International Astronomy Teaching Summit and the Robotic Telescopes, Student Research and Education Conference being held in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii  from July 23-27, 2018.

My presentation focuses on the use of robotic telescopes to support amateur astronomy projects. Allowing students to achieve extraordinary results.

Observing Diary: Jupiter at opposition

Date:9th of May 2018

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Jupiter
Jupiter

This year’s series of planetary oppositions kicks-off with Jupiter.

I took this image from my backyard using a 10″ RC scope and a ZWO astronomy camera with the eyepiece projection method. I captured short video grabs and processed them in Autostaakert.

In the night sky Jupiter is followed up by Saturn and Mars. I braved the cold night to image both as they came into view.

Saturn
Saturn
Mars
Mars

Saturn reaches opposition in late June and Mars in late July.

Success Story: Amelia’s “Life on Exoplanets” project is a 2018 BHP Billiton Foundation Science and Engineering Awards winner

We have just heard that Amelia’s “Life on Exoplanets” project has taken out the Primary Investigation category in the 2018 BHP Billiton Foundation Science and Engineering Awards.

Congratulations Amelia!

Amelia used our Exoplanet Transit Tracking project as the centrepiece of her investigation into the possibilities of living on other planets and the challenges of finding other habitable planets. You can find out more about her project here.

 

Observing Diary: Super Blue Blood Moon

Date: 31st of January 2018

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Super Blue Blood Moon
Super Blue Blood Moon

I set up a small telescope in my driveway and spent the evening explaining the details for the Super Blue Blood Moon to curious passers by.

A Super Moon occurs when the Moon is Full and at perigee (Its closest approach to Earth in its orbit) The Moon appears slightly larger than usual, but you’d need to be an expert observer to realise it.

A Blue Moon is simply the second full Moon in the same calendar month. January 2018 started with a full Moon and so we just got a second in the same month.

A Blood Moon is a Lunar Eclipse, when the Moon passes through the shadow cast by the Earth. As the Earth’s shadow fall on the Moon, its colour changes, initially blacking-out portions of the Moon and then changing the Moon’s usual silver-grey to a red-orange colour.

The Full Moon
The Full Moon
Lunar Eclipse - The Moon Disappears
Lunar Eclipse – The Moon Disappears
Copper colours start to show
Full Eclipse
Full Eclipse