Welcome to MacAstrofix ....... Astronomy Diary for August 2016 ........ Asteroid is Earth's Companion ........ Farewell Philae ........ Clues to Ceres' Inner Structure ........ Cavenauts on Underground Mission ........ ESA Commits to UK SABRE Rocket Engine ........ Mars 2020 Rover Final Design ........ Brexit : UK out of European Space Missions? ........


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An Astronomy Diary for August

Animation Credit: NASA MSFC

Some astronomy highlights for viewing during August

can be seen here...


Transit of Mercury from Shetland

9th May 2016

Click here to see images of the transit of Mercury

as observed in Shetland.


What`s in the Shetland Sky in 2016?



Weather Today  Mossbank Shetland

                                                                             Live Video Stream and Weather Data


Some Suggestions for Binoculars


Free Online Courses

Courses in Astronomy, Physics, Astrobiology and more

starting soon


The Voice of Jupiter 2014

Our first attempt to record Jupiter`s radio emissions

on 20.1Mhz . ( June 2014 ) Listen to the files here .


Meteor Shower Camelopardalids 2014

Did you know you can also listen to meteor showers ?

Plots and Audio samples from the Camelopardalids !


Preliminary Report

Hurlers Stone Circles Project - Cornwall

Original Hurlers Story Here !

News from Around the Web


Asteroid 2016 HO3:

A Near-Earth Companion


Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

A small asteroid has been discovered that has

been orbiting Earth for almost a century and

may remain our distant companion for

centuries to come.


Farewell to Philae

image credit: ESA

The interface used to communicate between

Rosetta and Philae is switched off as Rosetta

nears the end of her mission.


What Lies Beneath Ceres' Surface?

Artist's Impression: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Scientists create map of the dwarf planet's

gravity that gives clues about Ceres' inner



ESA Commits to SABRE Rocket Engine

The Synergistic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine

(SABRE) uses atmospheric air in the early

stage of its flight and, if successful, the

design could lead to 'single-stage-to-orbit

spaceplanes' in the future. SABRE was 

designed by the UK's Reaction Engines Ltd.

Test firings could begin in about 4 years time.


World's Largest Telescope is in China

The FAST telescope. Credit: EPA

The spherical radio telescope (FAST) in

south-west China was completed on 3 July

and is 500m in diameter.

The Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico is

305m across. FAST can track objects for

longer and is expected to be twice as sensitive

and have 5 to 10 times the surveying speed

of Arecibo


ESA Astronauts in Cave Mission

image credit: ESA

Six astronauts from China, Japan, USA, Spain

and Russia recently re-emerged after

spending six nights underground to simulate

a mission exploring another planet.

Each 'cavenaut' was assigned a role for the

expedition, which tested techniques that

could be used in exploring other planets.


Mars 2020 Rover's Final Design

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The latest rover will be launched in 2020 on a

mission to investigate a Mars region thought

to have been favorable for microbial life.

'The Mars 2020 rover is the first step in a

potential multi-mission campaign to return

carefully selected and sealed samples of

Martian rocks and soil to Earth'

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