Lane Cove (well okay everybody on earth) is about to see a rare site in the sky. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will all be aligned and you will be able to see them with the naked eye. From today to 20 February all five visible planets will sit in a line from the horizon to the moon – for the first time since 2005.
The Planets are Aligning
Dr Alan Duffy, research fellow at Swinburne University in Melbourne, said that this reasonably rare alignment is “essentially a quirk” of the universe. All the planets sit on a flat plane but have different yearly cycles – so for all five visible planets to happen to line up is “something well worth seeing,” he said.
So if you are are a morning person, you will be able to see this. The time to get the best view of the alignment is between 5.30am-5.40am AEDT (Australian Eastern Daylight Time). According to Dr Alan Duffy “Venus and Jupiter will be easiest to see and Mars, while a little harder, will have a distinctive red glow to look out for.”
Northern Sydney Astronomical Society
If this fuels your passion for star gazing, you are in luck. The Northern Sydney Astronomical Society is based in Lane Cove. Once a month (at 7:30pm on the third Tuesday of the month) they meet at Regis Hall in the grounds of St Ignatius’ College, Riverview Street, Riverview (Lane Cove) (click here for a map). This meeting focuses on the theoretical aspects of astronomy, each month featuring a guest lecturer, and touching on subjects such as cosmology and astrophysics.
The Society also caters for new Astronomers. The New Astronomers Group is a seven month course, held on the fourth Tuesday of the month at Regis Hall in the grounds of St Ignatius’ College, Riverview Street, Riverview (Lane Cove) (click here for a map). It’s a great place for people who have recently purchased or plan to purchase a telescope and would like to learn how to use it. The group also caters for those who have had their telescopes for a while and are interested in talks and presentations on the latest updates in astronomy. Topics include star-hopping the night sky, learning to use your telescope more effectively, astrophotography and other practical areas of astronomy. See here for details. A new course is starting in April this year and you can register here.
The Society usually holds a FREE stargazing evening as part of the Cameraygal Festival, and for the first time last year they held a FREE solar viewing during the day.
Facebook: Northen Sydney Astronomical Society
Phone: 0423 971 374
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