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Post Info TOPIC: October 2008


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RE: October 2008
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Have you seen Uranus recently?
No seriously, stop s******ing at the back, have you? Apparently this week is the best time to go looking for Uranus without the use of a telescope...

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World Space Week
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Space Week, Oct 4-10, is the annual global space celebration. With public and school activities around the world, it is coordinated by Spaceweek International Association cooperating with the UN.

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Now`s a good time to spot 7th rock from the sun, if you know where to look

Image: Uranus
Space.com / Starry Night Software
Uranus can be found high in the southern sky after midnight, floating just off the corner of Aquarius.

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081003-ns-uranus-01.jpg
Uranus can be found high in the southern sky after midnight, floating just off the corner of Aquarius. Try using the and stars as pointers.

Here is a trivia question: How many planets are visible without a telescope? Most will answer "five" (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn). Some might answer "six" and include the Earth in the mix. Six, in fact, is the correct number, but if you exclude our own world, there is indeed one other planet that can be spied without optical aid: the planet Uranus.

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In the October sky, Venus continues to be an excellent target in the west just after sunset.
Jupiter also continues to dominate the south in the early evening. Use binoculars to watch its four main moons changing position from night to night. With a copy of either Sky and Telescope or Astronomy magazine, and a little work, you should be able to identify each of the moons.

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See Moon, Jupiter, Uranus at Behlen Observatory's Oct. 10 public night
Provided the sky is clear, visitors will be able to view a variety of objects with the 30-inch telescope and with smaller telescopes set up outside the observatory. These include the Moon, the planets Jupiter, Venus (at the beginning of the evening) and Uranus, two kinds of star clusters, double or multiple stars, and the Ring Nebula in Lyra.

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To help you learn about the southern night sky, Sydney Observatory provides a star map or chart for each month of the year. We also provide an audio guide of the months night sky, presented this month by Allan Kreuiter, Education Officer at Sydney Observatory. You can listen online, or download the audio onto your ipod or mp3 player.

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The summer triangle is still prominent in the western skies at sunset. This triangle of bright stars (Vega, Deneb, and Altair), connects the constellations of Lyra (the Lyre, Turtle or Vulture), Cygnus (the Swan), and Aquila (the Eagle).
A few hours later, around 11 p.m., we find the great square of Pegasus (the Winged Horse) and Andromeda (the Chained Lady) overhead. Before the month is over I suggest you try to locate the Ring Nebula in the constellation Lyra (see this month's map). Once you locate Vega you can easily locate M 57, the Ring Nebula.

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