Museum Victoria

Museum Victoria is responsible for the state’s scientific and cultural collections, providing public access through three museums.

We also oversee a wide range of research programs, the continued development of the state’s collections, and run major education and research based websites.

We are the largest public museums organisation in Australia.

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The faint comet appears just below the moon, with the Parkes Radio Telescope in the foreground. The bright ‘star’ to the right of the moon is the planet Venus. Alex Cherney

The twilight comet: Comet PanSTARRS

Over the last few nights, bright Venus, Jupiter and the lovely crescent moon have been capturing people’s attention in the western sky. But hidden from view has been an interloper making a rare trip through…
Welcome to the family. Ben Gross/twitter

Welcome to the family, Pluto

What an amazing time for space exploration. The picture of the solar system from my childhood is now complete, as seen in this great family portrait produced by Ben Gross, a research fellow at the Chemical…
The last photo sent to Earth by New Horizons before its flyby, and arguably the ‘textbook’ photo of the planet for the next few decades. NASA

Live blog: New Horizons flyby of Pluto

Join Tanya Hill as she live blogs the New Horizons flyby of Pluto at 9.30pm AEST tonight.
The tropical orange blotch surgeon fish has been moving south into New South Wales. Graham Edgar / Reef Life Survey

Following Nemo: marine life is heading south

As warmer seas move further south, tropical wildlife is going with them, giving us a dramatic insight into how global warming is changing our oceans.
All eyes on Venus and Jupiter - this image from Austria, June 15. H. Raab/flickr

The best planet duo of 2015 - Venus and Jupiter

They are the two brightest planets in the night sky – the cloud-covered world of Venus and the enormous gas giant Jupiter. Put them together and it’s a double delight. We are set for a stunning sight at…
Saturn appears as an extra ‘claw’ of Scorpius as they rise together in the east. Alex Cherney/MV

Saturn at opposition with Venus and Jupiter

Saturn is the most distant planet that can be seen with the naked eye and this weekend brings it closest to Earth for 2015. Seen as a small star, with a steady light and a slightly yellow-tinge, the planet…
Then and now - Hubble’s beautiful pillars of creation. NASA, ESA, STScI, and J. Hester and P. Scowen (Arizona State University), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

The pillars of creation - a glimpse into how stars are born

It’s the image that back in 1995 saved the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). It turned around five years of public mockery by demonstrating loud and clear that Hubble would live up to – and grow to exceed…
A well-timed shot of the Hubble Space Telescope and the space shuttle Atlantis in 2009, as they transited the sun together in just 0.8 seconds. NASA/Thierry Legault

You can see the Hubble Space Telescope in the sky above

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has now been in orbit for 25 years and this achievement has been a wonderful excuse to pour over the telescope’s beautiful imagery, to consider its valuable contribution…
The moon moves out of totality as seen from Sydney during the December 2011 eclipse. Neerav Bhatt/flickr

Be prepared for the shortest total lunar eclipse of the century

A total lunar eclipse will be visible from across all Australia this Saturday, April 4. But it will be a quick one. Rather than passing deep into the Earth’s shadow, the moon is skimming close to the shadow’s…
Locating Nova Sagittarii 2015 No. 2, the new bright light in the sky. Alex Cherney

Ancient nova is now thought to be a stellar collision

A new light in the southern night sky is thought to be an exploding star. It comes as astronomers reveal an ancient nova explosion is now thought to have been two stars colliding.
The aurora australis as seen this week from Tasmania. Tim Cooper/flickr

Dazzled by the bright Southern Lights

The past week saw a fantastic treat for aurora watchers. Generally it is the southern part of the country, Tasmania in particular, that sees the most impressive displays. But this aurora has been so intense…
Having already explored Vesta, the Dawn spacecraft now enters orbit around Ceres.

Dawn eases into orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres

When NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is captured into orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres on Friday, March 6, there will be no fanfare in mission control. In fact, the spacecraft won’t even be in radio contact…
An interesting trio in the western sky, visible after sunset on February 21. Museum Victoria/Stellarium

Venus to pair up with Mars

Over the past few weeks, Venus and Mars have been drifting closer together in the evening sky and this weekend the two will meet low in the west. What’s more, on Saturday February 21, the thin crescent…
Artist’s impression of two white dwarf stars destined to merge and create a Type Ia supernova in 700-million years time. ESO/L. Calçada

White dwarf merger is set to prove supernova theory

Two white dwarfs found orbiting each other at the centre of a planetary nebula are now known to have enough mass that they will eventually trigger a special kind of supernova, according to research published…
A bright fireball over the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, ALMA, in Chile, marks the fiery death of a small grain of space debris, high in the atmosphere. ESO/C. Malin

Explainer: why meteors light up the night sky

Meteors have been seen since people first looked at the night sky. They are comprised of small pieces of debris, typically no larger than a grain of dust or sand, which continually crash into the Earth’s…
Jupiter’s moons in transit. NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team

Jupiter at its best for 2015

This month is a great time to catch Jupiter shining brilliantly in the evening sky. And for the next few weeks it will be its best and brightest for the year. The planet reaches opposition at 5:09am on…
A group of excited observers during a peak of the Geminids meteor shower. Flickr/Tasayu Tasnaphun

Nature’s fireworks: the best meteor showers coming in 2015

Watching meteors in the night sky can be fun, although typically you only see a few flashes an hour. But there are certain times of the year when you can see many more – events known as meteor showers…
Comet Lovejoy on December 13 from the Astronomical Society of Victoria’s Astrophotography Observatory, Heathcote, Victoria. Phil Hart

A Christmas comet to be seen from dark skies

If you are away from the bustle of the city these holidays, then try your luck at spotting a faint comet in the northern sky. Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2 is the fifth comet to be discovered by Brisbane amateur…

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