Comments for a sky watchers guide Sat, 19 Mar 2016 14:22:08 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on The Night Sky Podcast | 09 Viewing Canopus by Jason Sat, 19 Mar 2016 14:22:08 +0000 Hi Billy and Marina,

Glad to hear you guys are back doing the podcast again, thought you might of abandoned the project. I’ve been a listener since you guys started a few months back and I thought I’d post to encourage you both to continue with the podcasts. When i have the time, star gazing is a bit of a hobby of mine so its always cool to see what other amateur astronomers are looking up at 😀

Pretty cool to hear you had an opportunity to see the sky from the Southern Hemisphere Billy. We’re in Australia and bright stars like Canopus, Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri and the Southern Cross stars are pretty much up every night of the Year.

Canopus is a familiar star here, and its always mind blowing to remember that its the second brightest star in the night sky despite being a ridiculous 310 light years away, compared to Sirius which is only slightly brighter despite being only 8 light years away.

Alpha Centauri (Rigel Kent) and Beta Centauri (Hadar) are well known, easily identifiable stars here. They are known as the “pointer stars”, if you extend a line between them you’ll quickly reach the Southern Cross which is our way of roughly identifying south (like you would have Polaris to identify due north).

Billy, I reckon your excitement over seeing Canopus for the first time would equal mine over seeing the infamous Big Dipper Stars and Polaris in the night sky for the first time. It’s always humbling to be reminded of the fact that our “night sky” is pretty unfamiliar to people who live in the northern hemisphere, and vice versa.

Keep up the good work guys, looking forward to the next podcast. If you’re ever down under give me a bell 😉

Comment on The Night Sky Podcast | 05 Five Planets In The Morning Sky by Tony Newton Wed, 03 Feb 2016 15:27:46 +0000 Jupiter’s moons. Great podcast guys. Can I just make a comment about your discussion of the order of Jupiter’s moons (which by now you may have already looked up!) – the order of the 4 are Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto. However, a key point to note is that when observing the moons they do not appear in this order much of the time, due to their differing orbits around Jupiter and when you are observing them. Often you can see them on opposite sides of the planet, but more crucially you may see, for example, Callisto just as it passes the face of the planet, making it seem the closest of the moons to Jupiter, while the others are at the far ends of their orbits and thus appear to be in the right order. In the UK our leading Astronomy magazine The Sky at Night includes a chart in each month’s edition showing the relative positions of the 4 moons every night of that month. In a random month edition of the magazine pulled from my shelf I note that only twice do all 4 moons appear on the same side of Jupiter in the month, and only one of these are they all in the “correct” order. Only 9 more times are they seen in the correct order, albeit on different sides of the planet.