A Rare and Gorgeous Wolf-Rayet Bubble

Wind-blown Wolf-Rayet bubbles are among the most rare, intriguing and tantalising objects to observe. And NGC 3199’s gorgeous glowing cosmic bubble is even more rare, being one of only a handful of known X-ray-emitting Wolf-Rayet bubbles.

Pyxis, the Instrument that Changed the World

Small, faint and seemingly insignificant, the few faint stars that make up Pyxis, the mariner’s compass, symbolize a truly historic instrument that changed the world and holds so much meaning and significance for many different reasons.

Phoenix, Beautiful Firebird

If ever there is a place to see the colours of the mythical Phoenix – the beautiful firebird that lived in the Arabian desert and whose plumage was the colours of fire – it is the Kalahari at sunset.

A Bevy of Galaxies in Pavo

Pavo, our beautiful southern peacock, is filled with galaxies floating in space like the eyespots in the terrestrial peacock’s magnificent plumage.

A Quasar and a Stromatolite Fossil

Last night I observed quasar 3C 273 which lies 2.4 billion light-years away. Recently I found a 2.4 billion year old stromatolite fossil… the first evidence of life on Earth. It is impossible to fathom the distance from us humans in both light and evolution…

A Star Named Melville

Everyone has heard of Sigma Octantis, our southern pole star. But how many of us have ever heard of a star named Melville that lies even closer to the south celestial pole? 

Centaurus A, Fourcade-Figueroa Shred, NGC 5237

This extraordinary trio of objects are the result of a galaxy shredding encounter… a violent encounter between an elliptical galaxy and a smaller companion spiral galaxy that took place some 500 million years ago.

Hogg Catalogue of Open Clusters (1965)

The twenty two Hogg open clusters offer an unusually rich observing project – not because the clusters themselves are rich – indeed, many of them are notably obscure – but because they all lie in exceptionally lush and beautiful star fields, with many of them juxtaposed with lovely NGC and Trumpler clusters.