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Archive for the ‘NASA’ Category

~ Saturn in the Park ~

Noeleen Lowndes - September 1, 2018

~ Saturn in the Park  Saturday 15th September 2018 ~

Members from the Southern Astronomical Society invite you and your family for a viewing of the magnificent planets Saturn, Jupiter and Mars along with viewings of the Moon through our large telescopes.

Date: Saturday the 15th September from 6.00 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.

Place: Esplanade North Park, The Esplanade at Paradise Point
(Opposite Mallard Ave on the beachfront)

*Unfortunately if the weather is cloudy the event will be cancelled*

If you need more information please contact Noeleen Lowndes on Mobile 0407 126452





~ SAS Lunar Night for InOMN 28th October 2017 ~

Noeleen Lowndes - October 10, 2017


SAS ‘International Observe the Moon Night’ (InOMN)

Saturday the 28th October 2017 from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm 
Venue: Woodstock Property at 231 Plunkett Road, Tamborine

Calling all Luna-lovers, come along and enjoy an evening looking at our closest celestial neighbour with members from the SAS.

This InOMN event is an annual event that is dedicated to encouraging people to look up and take notice of our nearest neighbour, the Moon.

Gold coin entry donation appreciated Sausage sizzle proceeds towards Tamborine Village Lions Clubs projects

***Weather permitting*** 

Contact Bryan for more information: 0431096511 or 0401217347

   flyer InIOM night sat oct 28 2017


How to watch Cassini’s last moments at Saturn…

Noeleen Lowndes - September 15, 2017


Today the 15th September 2017…live images streaming now from Cassini!

Goodbye Cassini….Only 7 hours to go to the end of the incredible mission to Saturn by the Cassini-Huygens Spacecraft!

Well this is it; later this evening (AEST) the amazing Cassini spacecraft will plunge into the surface of the planet Saturn in a fiery ball, which will streak across the sky as it burns up in the gaseous atmosphere of Saturn!

There is no stopping what will happen at approximately 9.55pm tonight and there will be many a tear in the eyes of everyone involved, including me after 15 years of sharing the wonders of Cassini’s discoveries with the community….

Here in Australia (AEST) the Canberra DSN starts tracking Cassini at 1.15pm on DSS43 & DSS35 and by about 9.55pm the spacecraft will have plunged into the planets surface. (Images are being transmitted now!)

Please go to the NASA’s Grand Finale website at:

Where is Cassini now link at:

Goodbye Cassini…thank you for all the wonderful images and discoveries 🙂

How to Watch Cassini’s last moments at Saturn “Today the 15th September 2017″
NASA will be streaming live feeds from mission control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where scientists will be receiving the final images and data from the spacecraft.

NASA Live Streaming Channel Guide


NASA YouTube at:

You can also watch the live streaming at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex where the live link is being received from Cassini at:

~ Saturn in the Park ~

Noeleen Lowndes - June 1, 2016

~ Saturn in the Park ~

Members from the Southern Astronomical Society invite you to a viewing of the magnificent planets Saturn, Jupiter and Mars along with viewings of the Moon through our large telescopes.

Date: Saturday the 11th June from 6.00 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.

Place: Esplanade North Park, The Esplanade at Paradise Point
(Opposite Mallard Ave on the beachfront)

Please see the flyer below for more information
Or contact Noeleen Lowndes on Mobile 0407 126452
(President) Southern Astronomical Society Inc.

*Unfortunately if the weather is cloudy the event will be cancelled*


Sm_Flyer_SaturnInTheParkSAS Saturn Night


~ Send your name to Mars ~

Noeleen Lowndes - September 4, 2015


Why don’t you have some fun and Send your name to Mars on NASA’s next space mission called InSight…but you’ll have to be quick as it closes on the 8th September 2015. Please go to the website below and download your special Mars certificate 🙂

Sm InSight Mars

To learn all about NASA’s exploration of Mars please go to:

~ SAS member Dylan O’Donnell images on APOD and ESA websites ~

Noeleen Lowndes - August 8, 2015

Dylan’s awesome image of the ISS traversing across the lunar surface has been presented on the NASA ‘Astronomy Picture of the Day’ website for the 31st July 2015.

9.Dylan APOD


Dylan’s text me to say that Commander Scott Kelly just shared his APOD picture from space! With the “Here I am!” How cool was that!
Congratulations Dylan on your second image to be highlighted on the APOD website 🙂

~ Dylan photographs the ESA tracking station in Western Australia ~

Dylans Image

Dylan’s was also invited to visit the European Space Agency’s Deep Space Tracking station in WA in early August where he took some beautiful images of the radio telescope with the Southern Cross.

I’m sure we are going to hear all about and see many more images at our next general meeting in September…what a wonderful opportunity, great work Dylan 🙂

Please go to the link below to see his image with the information at:

To see more of Dylan’s stunning image please go to his website at:

~ The New Horizons spacecraft successfully fly-bys Pluto ~

Noeleen Lowndes - August 8, 2015

On the 14th July, the New Horizon spacecraft successfully flew by Pluto at and incredibly close distance of only 1,250 kilometres and showed us what an amazingly complex world Pluto really is. Those first real images of a reddish coloured planet with a huge icy area in the shape of a heart were just breathtaking…we could even see the likeness of the doggy Pluto in this same region which is now named Tombaugh Regio after Pluto’s discoverer Clyde Tombaugh.

It’s just so hard to get your mind around how an object that’s only the size of a grand piano could travel nearly 6 billion kilometres through the solar system and safely reach its target at the precise time and place nine and a half years later to begin imaging…but that’s what NASA does time and time again with its space exploration…its just incredible!

Remarkably at the time of closest approach you could watch where the spacecraft was by using NASA’s ‘Eyes on Pluto’ app, that is designed for your computer or your mobile device…this app shows you where New Horizons is right now and you’ll find it at:

Currently, the spacecraft is now many millions of kilometres away from Pluto but its precious cargo of data is still to be delivered to Earth, so expect many more wonderful new discoveries to come over the next 16 months.

How do we get back all this wonderful information back from New Horizons? It’s done by NASA’s Deep Space Network of Radio telescope that are placed strategically around the globe to capture the signal from New Horizons please go to the DST website to find out all about it at:

Congratulations to all the New Horizons team for all your dedication in showing us what this mysterious little planet looks like…and what a spectacular surprise its turned out to be 🙂

Please find below a couple of the stunning images taken during this remarkable flyby, go to the New Horizons website to view more at and stay tuned for many more new discoveries to be made over the coming year from all the data collected.

If you want to see a stereo image of Pluto please go to the APOD image for the 6th August 2015 at:


Mosaic NASANASA-charon-inset


~ NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft finally arrives at Pluto on Tuesday the 14th July 2015~

Noeleen Lowndes - July 12, 2015


It’s only 2 days now until humankind will be enlighten by the images and science taken from the New Horizons spacecraft that will fly by this enigmatic small world called Pluto.

The New Horizons spacecraft left Earth in January 2006 for a journey that has lasted over nine years to finally arrive on Tuesday the 14th July at 9.50pm (AEST).

This is going to be an amazing moment in history…to see what this planet (dwarf planet) really looks like that’s nearly 6 billion kilometres away from us. The DSN tracking station at Tidbinbilla in Australia will be tracking the spacecraft during the flyby, so Australia is playing a crucial role again in another space mission.

DSN Pluto encounter

In August 2006 the IAU demoted Pluto from being a fully-fledged member of the solar system to being a dwarf planet along with Ceres in the asteroid belt and numerous other bodies discovered beyond Pluto in an area known as the Kuiper belt.

Yes, it was a very controversial issue at the time and I would say still is…because before the classification NASA has already sent this robotic explorer off to discover exactly what this far orbiting body was really made of…these are indeed very exciting times, its been a long time since we’ve seen another new world in our solar system like this.

Pluto has been in the imagination of humans since its discovery by Claude Tombaugh who first discovered the rocky world in 1930. We all grew up with this little planet being known at the 9th planet in our solar system

Pluto has always held a fascination for children, I think because it was so far away from the Sun and very tiny they felt an affinity with it, plus they really loved its name…now we all know that a feeling like this is not what you call ‘real science’ but it seems quite remarkable to me that the first real close up image that’s been taken shows an incredible heart shape feature on the surface…now isn’t that quite extraordinary!


Soon we will see it with our own eyes, thanks to the continued vision from the people at NASA and all the scientists that truly believe in the exploration of the universe we live in…thank you NASA for your vision and sharing that knowledge with all humanity.

Please go to the websites below for more information and to witness live coverage of this wonderful event:

Stardust Kids_IMG_9236Stardust poster IMG_9256

The children from the Stardust Junior Astronomy Club on the Gold Coast got very excited about New Horizons spacecraft arriving at Pluto, so they did up a poster of drawings for the New Horizon team at NASA to put up on there wall…Noeleen Lowndes 🙂

Help NASA Observe Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from April – December 2015

Dylan O'Donnell - March 24, 2015


NASA wants amateur astronomers around the world to help observe Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (you know that one we freaking landing on?), as it reaches perihelion and outbound journey around the sun.

If you are interested head here and join the Facebook group as well.

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