Hi Dave. Just been listening to you on 5aa and I thoroughly enjoy tuning in to hear you and usually tune out after but I have a couple of questions for you.I heard you talking about Star Trek last week and one of my favorites is the Star Trek 4 the voyage home.the part were they decide to go back and pick up a few whales and slingshot around the sun,possible and why that method and I know its Hollywood but seems interesting to me.also have you seen side walk astronomer and could one make his own telescope or to complicated.

Many thanks Mark.

Hi Dave,

My name is Susan B..., I am a teacher at a Public School in Northern NSW. I was listening to your talk on ABC radio, as I was driving to work, and heard you mention Mercury being visible early in the morning - if you are lucky to have the right conditions. I cannot remember the clues you gave re. using your hand like a stop sign from Venus to locate Mercury - my students are keen to try this. They would also like to know if they will be able to see the Space Station when it becomes visible for Tamworth residents after this Sunday.

Regards, Susan

Hi Dave,

We were outside yesterday morning about 5am observing the night sky and the most amazing shooting star appeared in the sky. It was quite low in the sky and seemed to just go on forever. The speed that it flashed across the sky was incredible. Just curiously ,it raised the question about how fast would these shooting stars go as they fly across the sky, have you any idea?

I always feel privileged to be able to view such a wonderful phenomenon, and what a great way to start the day! I always listen to your segment on 5AA, always find it really interesting.

Kind Regards

Lesley W


Regards to my phone call today regarding the photo I took from Glenelg Jetty on Saturday 8 March 2014 at 12.11pm. Whilst taking my photo I noticed a tiny object in the north west direction - photos and map attached. I have sent you a map and approximate location of where the photo was taken from and the direction.

I have also sent the actual photo along with one in which I have circled the object? the other to give you an idea distance etc. I took these photos with my Nikon D7000 camera with a 18-300 lens. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you

Graham Hunt

Hi Dave

Last night and again this evening I was surprised to see how red Mars is, looking roughly due east from Flynn's beach, time 9.45pm Monday 10. It was so red that last night I wondered whether it was a plane, then I thought it might be a super nova. A forlorn hope. I was wondering if you had looked at Mars in recent days?

I was wondering wether there were dust storms coupled with a close orbital approach.

Regards Jim Blacke

Hi Dave

On the evening of the fourth of March around 9pm, my husband was viewing the moon with our telescope. He called me out to see a strange light in very close proximity to the moon. The moon was illuminated from the top. If the top was 12 o'clock then this light was at twenty to. We wondered if it was just a star but it didn't appear to be twinkling.

After a few minutes it moved behind the moon out of sight. Unfortunately the moon dipped behind the horizon shortly after so we didn't get to see if it was coming out the other side. Do you have any idea what it might have been? It was very close and very bright. Star sized but no visible twinkle. Then it moved out of sight. So it appeared to be in orbit around the moon.

We are just curious. Thanks for your help with this. Keep up the great work. Best wishes, Sandra P.

Hi Dave It has been sometime since we have spoken. I have heard you on radio with Grant Goldman. Heard you this morning. Thought it was very interesting so took a look, very interesting. Hope all is well with you. Regards. Robyn B.Hi Dave I have what might be a dumb question! When in Sri Lanka recently I was looking at the night sky and thought I saw the Orion constellation both smaller and upside down (relative to seeing it in Sydney skies ). I wondered did it look smaller because I was closer to the equator and was it really upside down because I was in the northern hemisphere. Still very new to this star gazing thing! Regards, Trish Hi Trish. Thanks for the message and good to hear from you. Yes, you would have been able to see Orion (The saucepan) and yes, it would have been mainly inverted. You are just above the equator in Sri Lank so everything we know would start to go upside down... the further north the more the effect. The stars cannot change their distance from us in such a short time. No matter where you go on this planet. It would not have looked smaller; this would be a factor of where you were seeing it. If in an open area with not much around, the country for instance, it would 'seem' smaller but in a city area with buildings etc perspective changes and you would infer it was a little larger, or at least the same size. Hope that helps. [Dave]

Hi David,

I am one of fifteen old age pensioners in a block of units in Dubbo. We observe a very bright object which does change position but to try and resolve this continual question I said that I would make contact with yourself and get the answer. Some think that it may be the space station where others think that it's ?? but I feel that it is Venus as when you described the position of the space station with Richard of 2DU it was always only visible for a very short time. Last Monday night at 2030Hrs it was in the Northern sky at approximately 45 degrees from the ground where we were all standing, Can you please help with this question,

Regards, Jeff Gray

Mr Reneke'

I just heard you yarning to Scott Levi about aurora being seen at the Gong. When I was 5 or 6 (1948- 49) we lived at Port Kembla and I remember being taken outside by my father and seeing the aurora. I can't be sure but the impression I have is of white to yellow 'lights in the sky' sort of in a swirl. That is a while ago and my memory ain't what it usta.Regards. Harry.

Hi Dave,

Was listening to your segment this morning on 5AA when you mentioned the ISS was going overhead. I rushed outside to see it and it was absolutely an amazing sight. It was straight overhead when I first saw it and it was the most prevalent in the sky that I have ever seen it. It had a bit of a haze surrounding it, giving it quite an aura, but as it moved across the sky it became clearer. I spotted Jupiter while observing the sky and the ISS seemed as large and bright as Jupiter.

As I was watching it also, a satellite went over it which was interesting to see the movement of both of them crossing each other.....very busy up there in the sky this morning! I rushed back in to ring you on 5AA, but your segment was just finishing up, but it made for a great start to my day to look at the wonder of the night sky.

Kind Regards, Lesley W.


One of the best astronomy sites I've come across. I'm just a guy from Minnesota. Tony Rotz

Hi David,

Thanks very much for organising the observation night on Saturday night. It was great to get to talk to others with a similar interest and find out some more info from people with experience.



Some time ago I read that stars like our sun produce only a small number of elements due to the relative lack of heat and pressure. But during the supernova stage of a massive star, the remainder of the elements are formed. This appears contrary to this article that suggest that there are various shells of the various elements within the core of the star. Where does the truth lie?

Nicolas T.

Hello Dave

Just short note to say how much I enjoy your newsletters. I'm impressed by the variety of articles. I'm also impressed by the fact that you are prepared do discuss controversial topics. Of course I have a question or two. What are your latest, personal thoughts on Comet Ison? I've read on the Internet, that Mars now has a coma around it. And this coma was caused by Comet Ison. Is this true?

I saw a short video on the Internet by astronauts who had been at the International Space Station and they said that it was actually amazing to see the earth just hanging there in space. The word that several used was 'awesome'.

You will have seen many things as you work in this field, but for me, this clip was amazing and I too have seen things through telescopes. Perhaps if everyone could see that they would appreciate the world in which we live a little more. I hope you enjoyed our time at Coonabarabran. Enjoy each day.


Hello Dave,

Firstly, let me say I enjoy listening to you at various times of the day & night on 5AA radio here in Adelaide. I'm a baker so I get to hear you at weird times. You always hold my attention closely. I have always been somewhat interested in the night sky and all its wonders. I've even done a couple of short courses at the Mawson Lakes Uni/ Planetarium, (which was/ is awesome).

Anyway, I am now ready to purchase my first telescope. I live outside the metro area on 1 hectare in which there are NO LIGHTS around. Very privileged

Steve C. Mawson Lakes


If I was travelling faster than light would I go back in time an what would stop me from hitting another object? I listen to you on 5AA Tuesday mornings, very interesting.

Reg. South Australia

Hi Reg

Interesting question. The quick answer is NO, you would not travel back in time, it's probably impossible anyway, and the main reason is we don't think anything can surpass the speed of light. Of course travelling at speeds of light and just below eventually would need some protection like a 'force field' to deflect asteroids/meteors etc ... a good navigation system too to avoid hitting planets. All this I'm sure will be worked out in future times by people who funnily, haven't even been born yet. All the best and thanks for listening to my radio segment.

Hi David

My story is as follows: last Wednesday 18th September I easily spotted in a perfectly clear dark sky no clouds an (object) which I pointed out to a friend who was with me at the time, which we then continued to watch for more than half a hour from 7pm onwards. It appeared to be a very large fuzzy ball in the Western sky travelling in a upwards direction rising up away from the horizon getting higher and more distant as time moved on... we watched as it slowly became smaller with distance, fainter and
eventually disappeared.

There was a full moon and the fuzzy ball was originally when first seen approximately one quarter the size of the moon - so very large, I scanned news items the next day and for
any reports but found none. Do you know what it was or may of been, what we were looking at?

Thank you, Steve.

G'day Dave!

it was great to hear you on air with my mate Glynn last night. I always enjoy hearing your segments. Between your good self, Stuart Gary and Dr Karl, I am kept well informed in the Astronomical area of Science. Thank you.

I tried to sign up for your newsletter but No Joy until I looked in the spam folder... I look forward to reading it. I hope this finds you and yours as well as possible.

Have a blessed day mate! Peace and Love from Tom & MAX The Wonder Dog in Dover, DellyWhere

Hi Dave

There is a very very bright star/satellite in the western sky tonight and I was wondering do you know what it is. I live on the northern rivers of NSW and would love to know what I am looking at.Kind regards. Julie C.

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