Monday night provided one of those quirky astronomical moments when a few heavenly bodies aligned. It got a lot of media exposure. Find evidence of ice on Mars or volcanism on Mercury nothing new. But two planets and the Moon make a smiley face in the sky – wow get out there quick.
Well as usual the sky at my place was clouded. I went outside the following night and was rewarded with the Moon a little higher. I turned my head upside down and was rewarded with a frown. Hey!
Interesting story I heard today on ABC World Today was about the possible extinction of the white possum. Listen to the audio, especially when the reporter questions whether he has being ‘irresponsible’.
Another story on ABC radio was about the ‘Dance your PhD’ competition, which featured an Australian winner. See it on YouTube.
Posted with LifeCast
You probably know that you can’t see stars in the daytime, but did you know that you can sometimes see planets or even satellites.
During the day the light from the Sun is scattered across the sky, giving it a blue colour. This blue light is much brighter than most of the stars in our sky. When the Sun sets, the scattered light is gone and we can see the stars and planets.
Occasionally, the Moon reflects enough light the Sun that it is brighter than the blue sky. This means you can see the Moon during the day.
Planets change in brightness during the year, depending on how close they are to the Earth.
Venus, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn sometimes appear brighter than the stars at night, and bright enough to see during the day. But it’s not easy. To find these planets you usually need another object nearby, such as the Moon or the horizon.
If you think you’ve conquered the daytime planet seeking challenge, try looking for an Iridium satellite flash. Iridium satellites are a type of satellite that occasionally flash brightly for two seconds. The flash is caused by light reflected on their solar panels. Daytime Iridium ‘flashes’ occur at least once every two weeks, but you need to know the exact time and position in the sky to see them.
Iridium flashes – www.heavens-above.com