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The Urban Astronomer

Urban Astronomy in the Southern Hemisphere

16 May 2014, 23:41 UTC
Urban Astronomy in the Southern Hemisphere
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Australian FlagThis week I had the privilege of working for four days in Sydney, Australia and the weather was clear, so I had a chance to experience the daytime and nighttime sky from a wholly new perspective. When you view the sky from south of the equator the sky is viewed in an entirely new light, and the differences in view in the southern hemisphere compared to the northern hemisphere are many.Daytime: in Sydney, the Sun tracks across the northern half of the sky, not the southern. In San Francisco we know that the southern exposure of a building or garden gets more Sun, but in Sydney the northern exposure gets all the Sun. When you are simply walking around the city the effect is incredibly subtle. But for me as an amateur astronomer, it was disorienting at times. I enjoyed the experience of looking for shadows and light in a new way and had to think through why and how light and shadows appeared as they did. Nighttime: this is where the Southern Hemisphere is amazing. At night the entire sky feels new. I was in Sydney all week and had to put up with city lights and a ...

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