Tag Archives: Astronomy

How to Witness Direct Star Observations from New Zealand as ‘God’s Eye’ on the Maori New Year | Instant News

Have you seen seven bright stars “Matariki” – “god’s eyes” appearing on the horizon?

This Monday night is the Matariki celebration in New Zealand where a view of seven glittering stars reappears in the early morning sky of the southern hemisphere in the Māori New Year.

In Western culture, the stars on Matariki are generally regarded as winter scenes – they are known as the Pleiades or “Seven Brothers”. In Māori culture, Matariki means “eye of the god” and refers to the legend of Matariki and “his six sisters”.

This year, with astro-tourism on hold, Matariki is on broadcast live on Facebook from Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Sanctuary on the South Island of New Zealand.

The reserve since 2012 consists of Aoraki / Mt. Cook the National Park and the Mackenzie Basin, although the area has limited light pollution since the 1980s.

What is the Matariki celebration?

Matariki – Māori New Year – is now celebrated everywhere throughout New Zealand. According to Maramataka – the Māori lunar calendar – the reappearance of Matariki in the night sky closes the old lunar year and marks the beginning of the new year.

Although various legends still exist, Matariki is most important for understanding the season time for planting, harvesting, and hunting.

It is estimated that if the Matariki star looks bright in the morning, a warm and productive farming season will follow.

When is the Matariki live star watching event?

The “live stargazing” program will be broadcast live from Takapō / Lake Tekapo in the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Nature Reserve on July 21 in New Zealand, which translates to Monday, July 21 at 18:30 BST, 13:30 EST and 10:30 PST .

The Dark Sky International Reserve Aoraki Mackenzie is one of the three Dark Sky Reserves in New Zealand, although earlier this month the country received The first Dark Sky Park, Wai-iti Recreation Reserve and Tunnicliff Forest – henceforth known as the Wai-iti Dark Sky Park – also on the South Island.

Monday’s star observing event will explore the myths and legends of Matariki and the importance of the awakening of the seven stars. It will be hosted by Israel Dagg, a former New Zealand rugby union player, along with “traditional sky navigator” Pirirpi Smith.

Matariki / the Pleiades: science and stars

Also known as “Seven Sisters” and M45 and Matariki, the Pleiades (pronounced “Player-deez”) not in fact “the eyes of God.” They are a collection of seven bright stars that are close together, together making one of the closest and brightest star clusters to us at a distance of 444 light years.

The Pleiades stars are all hot type B stars in the constellation Taurus. There are seven bright stars in the Pleiades – known in Western culture as Alcyone, Atlas, Electra, Maia, Merope, Taygeta, and Pleione, although there are about 100 stars in total.

Although Matariki refers to the Pleiades as a whole, the Alcyone star is also referred to directly as Matariki and signifies reflection, hope, connection to the environment and gathering of people. The other six stars – her daughter – are called Tupu-ā-nuku, Tupu-ā-rangi, Waipunarangi, Waitī and Waitā, and Ururangi.

The Pleiades can now be seen from the northern hemisphere by looking northeast at midnight (see roughly above Venus).

Matariki / the Pleiades throughout the world

The “Seven Sisters” stars are very famous and celebrated by many cultures around the world, where – as in New Zealand – they have various names.

  • “Matariki” in Māori culture— “eye of the god” or “eye of the head.”
  • “Subaru” in Japan— “gathering together.”
  • 昴 mǎo in China— “Western white tiger hairy head.”
  • “The iheḍ cat” in northern Sahara— “the girl that night.”
  • Krittika in Hinduism – related to the war god Kartikeya.
  • “Makali’i” in Hawaii— “the eyes of a noble family.”

Every culture has a story about the Pleiades. “In a completely dark sky, the constellations really stand out, so it’s not surprising that the Pleiades have worldwide significance for many cultures,” said Professor Nigel Henbest, co-author of See the stars 2021 Philip: A Month-by-Month Guide to the Night Sky. “In South America, the Pleiades’ appearance – whether they look foggy or not – is used just in time when they grow potatoes, which requires a lot of moisture.”

See stars from the southern hemisphere

That is something you need to do at least once in your life.

Step under the equator and you will be greeted by a series of constellations, bright stars and amazing sky objects that can only be seen from this latitude.

This is paradise for connoisseurs of stars.

While the north pole faces outward to the Universe outside, the south pole points toward the center of the Milky Way galaxy where brighter stars are located, more constellations containing more objects. That is why astronomers have chosen the southern hemisphere to build the largest and best land-based telescope.

We wish you a clear sky and wide eyes.


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Do you speak “Earth English”? Why future interstellar immigrants will try to chat | Instant News

Do you know what “crosstalk” is?

It is precisely because of the tone of the person’s last use that the statement made by someone sounds like a problem. Also known as High rise terminal (HRT) or rising inflection point.

People have been doing this now. This phenomenon started in Australia about 40 years ago and spread to the United States. It is now common in all ages throughout the English-speaking countries.

Now imagine the existence of interplanetary settlements on other planets. There are isolated human communities. Immigrants from the earth arrived in a colony that has lived in space for many years.

In a future era handed down from generation to generation, will humans be able to communicate with each other?

Old and new colonists may have difficulty understanding each other, and the people sent to the “home” of the earth and the information received from them may soon become meaningless.

They are in New article Published on Future law, Is a journal of the European Space Agency Advanced Concept Group.

The authors say that as communities become more and more isolated, the language is gradually dispersed. Therefore, not only will the language change rapidly between the colonists in the isolated interplanetary settlement, but the passengers on the spacecraft will also quickly change.

“If you have used 10 generations on this ship, new ideas will emerge, new social problems will emerge, people will create ways to talk about these ideas, and these will become the unique vocabulary of the ship,” Andrew McCann Andrew McKenzie said that the professor of linguistics at the University of Kansas co-authored “Language Development in Interstellar Travel” with Jeffrey Punske, an assistant professor of linguistics at Southern Illinois University.

The authors say that if the crew is physically and socially disconnected from Earth, then about 200 years will be enough time for major changes. If the community is small, it may only be a lifetime. They inferred from examples on Earth; from 1500 to 1800, Polynesians settled in the South Pacific, and in the 1800s, English-speaking people settled in remote colonies in New Zealand until Texas developed a unique “Dirk” The “Saas-German” dialect lasted for three generations until the First World War.

MacKenzie said: “People on earth may never know these new words unless there is a reason to tell them, and the farther they are, the less chance they have to talk to their families.” Generations will pass by, not on earth Anyone can talk to these interstellar travelers. “You don’t want to tell them too much, because they will only find out after a few years, and then you will receive their echo after a few years.”

For years of voyages, dialects may merge. New generations of dialects and even new languages ​​can consolidate the mission for generations.

The individual connection between the interstellar traveler and the colonists and the earth will soon disappear. “If we have “Earth English” and “Ship English”, and they have been different for many years, you must learn a little Earth English to send back information, or read the instruction manual and information that comes with the ship.” McKenzie ) In the English-centered research, just to emphasize some broad concepts.

Moreover, the language of returning to the earth will also change, so the language of communication between humans related to the earth and colonial humans will become an ancient language used only for this purpose. Does anyone want or need to learn how to communicate with people on earth? Or vice versa?

The author recommends keeping the older English form purely for ceremonial or religious purposes.

They also suggested that the crew of ships arriving in the colony may want to learn the local language before arriving to prevent discrimination. They wrote: “Every new ship essentially transfers language immigrants to foreign countries.” “Will children and grandchildren be discriminated against before they learn the local language?”

So, the next time you look up at the stars, remember that one day there may be a spaceship with humans desperately trying to learn to make all their voices sound like a problem.

I wish you a clear sky


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Australia’s new DREAM infrared telescope hopes to map the entire southern sky | Instant News

Peek away from galaxy with incomparable clarity, a new infrared telescope was designed and developed by astronomers in … Australian National University (ANU) will help staring at scientists chasing down some of the most elusive cosmos heavenly event, all from the comfort of our home planet.

The Dynamic REd All-Sky Monitoring Survey, aka DREAM, will be installed at the historic Siding Spring Observatory in northern New South Wales and designed to scan quickly and monitor the entire southern sky to look for cosmic events as they emerge from the inked blank.

With plans to share the telescope with international researchers, the makers hope the next generation of devices will lift Australia to the top of the temporary field of astronomical evolution, which is a study of rare cosmic treasures that are close to “real time”.

Expected to be completed by 2021 and nearly 10 times stronger than its closest rival, DREAM is being built using a fully automatic 0.5m telescope reinforced with a sophisticated infrared camera. In each detailed footage, DREAM is able to capture 3.75 square degrees (20 times the size of the Moon) from the night sky, and must be able to map the extent of the southern sky for three clear nights.

Because of their ability to cut through distorted galactic haze and distant cosmic barriers, infrared telescopes are far more powerful than traditional optical telescopes when it comes to searching for more unusual space glasses such as quasars, pulsars, interstellar mergers, supernovas, galaxy formations, collisions of neutron stars. , the source of gravitational waves, and the many mysteries of black holes.

“This new infrared telescope makes it possible to see behind the dust and debris blocking your view with telescopes operating in visible wavelengths,” lead researcher Professor Anna Moore, Director of the ANU Space Institute (InSpace) told SYFY WIRE. “It will scan the entire southern night sky in the infrared, making a constant image, almost like making a video. It will help us look for elusive cosmic events that occur in days, weeks or months, and not millions of years.

“An example of the type of event we hope to see is called a neutron star merger,” he added. “We know that mergers of neutron stars create conditions that make metals like gold and platinum. We are looking for all these elusive and rare events. To see them, we must be able to find great distances, every night. This imaging can reveal stars new, nebulae, mergers, galaxies, supernovas, quasars and other radiation sources that are new to science.

“We hope that the MIMPI infrared telescope will operate in mid-2021 and the data will be shared throughout the world so that researchers can be anywhere and have access to the large amounts of data they will produce.”

Tony Travouillan is the principal technical manager at the ambitious DREAMS project and considers this exciting venture innovative and economical.

“Sky surveys in the infrared are always limited by the cost of the camera and not the telescope,” Dr. Travouillon explained in statement. “The development of infrared cameras using Indium Gallium Arsenide technology, with the help of our collaborators at MIT, has provided astronomers with an economical alternative that is the first we applied to extensive field surveys. We used these six cameras on our telescopes. This gave us a design that could measured that minimizes the complexity and cost of the instrument. “


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Meteor shower Eta Aquarids 2020: Australians told to look to the sky Wednesday morning for the best view Science | Instant News

If you want to see what happens when a piece of dust from the comet’s tail hits the Earth’s atmosphere at around 60 km per second, then look east on Wednesday morning.

Between 02.00 and 05.00, yearly Eta Aquarids meteor showers will peak during Earth’s journey through orbit Comet Halley and traces of dust left behind.

“This is great to see from the southern hemisphere, but you have to get up early,” said Prof. Michael Brown, astrophysicist at Monash University in Melbourne.

“Comets are dirty snowballs and leave a trail of dust in their orbits. When the Earth runs into the dust, we get a meteor shower like we will get tomorrow morning. “

The particles may only be about the size of a grain of sand, but Brown says the speed when they hit the Earth’s atmosphere – about 60 km per second – means they “burned quite spectacularly and produced a good shooting star”.

Prof. Jonti Horner, an astrophysics at the University of Southern Queensland, came out last night in his backyard in Toowoomba, Queensland and saw about seven meteors in 30 minutes “but I might have missed a few moments when I messed up my camera”.

He said: “They are rather like buses – you might wait a little while and then you might see three in a minute.”

Horner said that it took the Earth about a month to pass the dust trail, but on Wednesday morning we will travel through the densest part. For the next few days people will still have a good chance to see the meteor, he said.

Horner said the best approach is to get out around 4:15 in the morning and look east and give your eyes about 15 minutes to adjust.

He said it was best to lie down and look around 30 to 40 degrees above the horizon. Dust particles burn about 80 km from the surface of the earth.

Halley’s comet is currently in the vicinity of Neptune’s orbit and almost at the furthest distance from Earth before turning and returning to us.

Comet Halley comes by Earth every 76 years and was last here in 1986 and will not be in our part of the solar system until around 2061.

But Horner said the dust from Halley on Earth now might not be from the efforts of the last comet here, but from flies thousands of years ago.

Whenever it reaches a climate warmer than the solar system, Horner says Halley loses about one meter from its surface. The comet itself formed together with the solar system, around 4,500 million years ago.

On Tuesday night, Horner took a photo of the Eta Aquarids meteor that was close to the newly discovered Comet Swan.

If the sky is very clear and you are far from the lights of the city, careful observers may only be able to find out the blurring of the comet – discovered on April 11 by Michael Mattiazzo, an amateur astronomer and a member of the Victorian Astronomy Society. .

Con Stoitsis, director of the comet and community meteor section, said his colleague Michael discovered the comet while studying drawings of instruments on board. Satellite Soho, launched in 1995. Comet Swan was named after Wind instruments – ANisotropies – which took pictures.

“I have seen the comet three times – it is a little brighter than anticipated,” Stoitsis said. “There aren’t many people in the world who see it.”

He said people would be lucky to see Comet Swan with the naked eye, but in the same part of the sky people would see a meteor.

He said: “This would be a good time to get out there and there is a window between around 5am and 5.30am when there is no moon. You might see 15 or 20 meteors per hour in very good conditions.”

In October, the earth will again pass the Halley dust trail to a meteor shower called Orionids which, Stoitsis said, does not tend to give as many meteors as possible to the sky like Eta Aquarids.


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The Eta Aquariid meteor showered the Australian sky in one of the best shows of the year | Instant News

Get up, set your alarm clock and get ready to see one of the best sky shows in Australia this week.

The Eta Aquariid meteor shower, which occurs every May, is one of the most important things in a year for experienced sky observers.

Unlike many other meteor showers, like Lyrids recently, this meteor rewards sky observers directly across Australia with many bright meteors darting across the sky.

This year the shower will peak in the morning May 6th.

But if you sleep in – the best time to see it is between 2:00 and 5:00 – or the weather isn’t good, you can still see meteors a day or more before or after.

This year the Moon will slightly affect your view, but with three bright planets in the sky it will still be a truly beautiful sight, said amateur astronomer Ian Musgrave.

“It will be a very pleasant night,” Dr. Musgrave.

“You have a Milky Way scattered above your head and you look down at Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.

If you have binoculars and live in a dark sky area You can also catch Comet SWAN near the eastern horizon.

The bright spots of Eta Aquariids as seen from Brisbane on May 6.(Stellarium / Ian Musgrave)

The Eta Aquariids meteor shower was created when the Earth passed through a dust trail set by Halley’s comet.

Halley’s comet circle approaches us every 76 years from somewhere outside Pluto.

While it was last in our sky in 1986, the dust we passed was tens of thousands of years old, said Jonti Horner, an astronomer at the University of Southern Queensland.

And because it’s so old, it’s time to spread.

“So we crossed the flow of this meteor for more than a month from April 19 to May 28,” Professor Horner said.

We crossed the river again in October, that’s when we saw the Orionids meteor shower.

But the Eta Aquariid meteor shower is more impressive because we pass through the guts of the dust flow during the peak so the meteor level is much higher.

What will you see where you live?

Eta Aquariids come from one point at the zodiac constellation from Aquarius.

But you cannot see any meteors until the radiation point rises above the horizon.

Unlike many other meteor showers, Eta Aquariids are best seen in the Southern Hemisphere, where the rays are higher in the sky and dusk is longer before the sun rises at this time of the year.

If you are very lucky, you can see a spectacular shepherding Earth meteor around the time the radiation rises.

“They come into the atmosphere at a very shallow angle so they can burn the sky for a very long time and go from the horizon to the horizon,” Professor Horner said.

The number of meteors you will see depends on where you live in Australia.

You will see more meteors per hour to the west you live because the point of radiation is higher in the sky before sunrise.

So people living in Perth will see more meteors than people living in the same latitudes as Sydney and Canberra.

Location May 4th May 5 May 6 (peak) May 7th May 8th
Adelaide 11 / hour 13 / hour 16 hours 16 hours 9 hours
Brisbane 12 hours 14 / hour 17 / hour 17 / hour 10 hours
Canberra 11 / hour 13 / hour 16 hours 16 hours 9 hours
Darwin 12 hours 15 / hour 17 / hour 17 / hour 9 hours
Hobart 10 hours 12 hours 14 / hour 15 / hour 9 hours
Melbourne 11 / hour 13 / hour 15 / hour 16 hours 9 hours
Perth 11 / hour 14 / hour 16 hours 16 hours 9 hours
Sydney 11 / hour 13 / hour 14 / hour 11 / hour 7 hours

How to get the best view

Catching a meteor is like catching a bus, you might need to wait a while, then some might come at once.

After you give eyes a few minutes to adjust, start scanning the sky over the eastern horizon using Jupiter, Saturn and Mars as your signs, said Dr. Musgrave.

“If you look directly at the radiation point where the meteor originated, you won’t see it because the burning of the meteor starts to move away from the radiation.”

“These good signs make it easy to scan areas of the sky, where you have to start seeing meteors start burning them so that it will potentially be easier to take out meteors even if you have a little moonlight disturbance.”

That The moon is in the waxing phase so it’s not set until about an hour before sunrise, which will make it harder to see dim meteors, especially at weekends.

“On the 6th it will be very low at a time when the meteor will be the most abundant so it should be easy enough to blocking the moonlight with a tree or object. “

Display of meteors darting across the sky
Meteors will often have a green tinge as they fly across the sky.(Provided: David Finlay / Clearskiestv)

How to take great photos of meteor showers

Astrophotographer David Finlay has captured the beauty of meteor showers for 20 years.

Every year he waits for the Eta Aquariid meteor shower, along with the Geminids meteor shower, which takes place in December.

And now, thanks to air pollution and less light, the sky is very beautiful from its backyard in Kiama, New South Wales.

“The stars look very fantastic right now, so I’m trying to use them while I can.”

Here are tips for taking the best photos using a standard DSLR camera:

  • Crank ISO as high as possible in the range of 3200 – 6400
  • Use wide angle lens – between 24 – 15 mm is the best.
  • That the openings should be as wide as possible (lowest number) to let in as much light as possible. “I use f1.4, but most of the lenses are around f2.8-3.5,” he said.
  • Moon or ambient lighting can erase photos continuous portrait with a short shutter speed —10 or 15 seconds. “You will also capture meteors with shorter exposures, but you must take more photos to capture them.”
  • Use bright stars to focus manually camera. “Sharp focus is very important. Most cameras now use direct display with digital zoom.

While some photographers like to focus on the point of radiation to take a series of composite meteors, Mr. Finlay prefers to take wider shots that provide more context like other celestial objects or the horizon.

“I think the best meteor is actually the opposite side of the sky, towards the south,” he said.

“I like getting the Big and Small Magellanic Clouds (other galaxies) or the center of our Milky Way galaxy in photographs, or just pointing the camera so that the bottom shows the horizon and maybe even people sitting watching a shower.”

Having something in the foreground that is interesting like an old tree is also good, he added.

“I might frame my photo to include palm trees in my backyard.”


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