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Father and son, together the magnificent gas giants contain 90% of the mass of all objects orbiting the Sun. Anthony Starks/flickr

Father and son: Saturn and Jupiter in the northern sky

Look towards north after sunset and the two gas giant planets, Jupiter and Saturn, can be seen among the stars. Jupiter is named for the Roman king of the gods and its great size allows it to shine with…
Foggy winter morning at Sugarloaf Reservoir, Victoria. Melbourne Water/flickr

Why the sunrise is still later after the winter solstice shortest day

We’ve just passed another winter solstice. Wednesday June 21 was the shortest day of the year. I live in Melbourne, so we had just 9 hours and 32 minutes of daylight, and it was dark and grey, so we certainly…
A composition, a landscape, the universe. Chechi Peinado/flicr

Disappearing act: take two for the Moon and Regulus

On Thursday evening, May 4, we’ll get our second chance to see the Moon pass directly in front of the bright star Regulus. From across Australia, the star will appear to blink out of view before emerging…
Moonshine at Flinders, Victoria. Alex Cherney

Follow the Moon to the stars and Jupiter

The ABC is encouraging us all to get out and observe the sky with their exciting Stargazing Live series to air April 4-6 with Professor Brian Cox and involving many astronomers across Australia. Here’s…
Turn your eyes to the Moon this weekend. Karen Arnold

Watch the bright star Regulus hide behind the Full Moon

Across Australia, on the evening of February 11/12, the Full Moon will travel directly in front of the bright star Regulus. For about an hour, the star will be hidden from view as the Moon passes by. This…
Stunning moon rise over Brokeoff Mountain, California. Jillian Kern/flickr

Why all the super buzz about the supermoon?

A beautiful full moon will grace our skies on Monday November 14 this year. Full moons always rise around sunset, so look for it towards the east during evening twilight. Every month, occasionally even…
With all data sent back to Earth, Rosetta signs off and descends to the comet’s surface. ESA

Once upon a time… how the Rosetta mission won our hearts

Last Friday, September 30, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Rosetta mission, which explored the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, reached its final conclusion and was heralded a resounding success. The…
A trio of planets, Jupiter (top), Venus (bottom left) and Mercury (bottom right) as seen from La Silla Observatory, Chile on May 26, 2013. Y. Beletsky (LCO)/ESO

When ancient lovers meet: the best planet duo of 2016

A fantastic lineup of planets has been visible over the past few weeks. Glance upwards just after sunset and all five bright planets – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn – the only planets that can…
The Earth’s only steadfast companion. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/flickr

Companions of Earth: minimoons, quasi-satellites and horseshoes

The Earth has one steadfast companion – the moon has been locked in orbit around the Earth since its violent formation more than four billion years ago. However, Earth’s gravity can also tug on small nearby…