McNaught, R. H.
Robert H. McNaught is a Scottish-Australian astronomer at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics of the Australian National University. He has collaborated with David J. Asher of the Armagh Observatory, the inner main-belt asteroid 3173 McNaught, discovered by Edward Bowell at Anderson Mesa Station in 1981, was named after him by its discoverer, following a suggestion by David Seargent. He discovered the Great Comet C/2006 P1 on 7 August 2006, the brightest comet in several decades, the SSS was the only active Near Earth Object survey in the Southern Hemisphere. The survey ended in 2013 after funding dried up, McNaught previously worked on the Anglo-Australian Near-Earth Asteroid Survey from 1990–1996. McNaught worked at the University of Astons satellite-tracking camera originally outside Evesham in 1982, thereafter at Herstmonceux and he also carries out extensive observational and computational work on meteors, as well as on occultations by minor planets. On 11 July 2012 it was announced that McNaughts funding from NASA was to be cut, in late 2012, the ANU advised that it could no longer support the program and that funds would not be available from January 2013. In total, McNaught has discovered 82 comets
Siding Spring Observatory
The observatory is situated 1,165 metres above sea level in the Warrumbungle National Park on Mount Woorat, also known as Siding Spring Mountain. Siding Spring Observatory is owned by the Australian National University and is part of the Mount Stromlo, more than A$100 million worth of research equipment is located at the observatory. There are 52 telescopes on site, the original Mount Stromlo Observatory was set up by the Commonwealth Government in 1924. After duty supplying optical components to the military in World War II, between 1953 and 1974, the 74-inch reflecting telescope at Mount Stromlo was the largest optical telescope in Australia. Already in the 1950s, the lights of Canberra, ACT, had brightened the sky at Mount Stromlo to such an extent that many faint astronomical objects had been overwhelmed by light pollution. The search for a new site was initiated by Bart Bok, after a site survey was undertaken the number of possible locations was narrowed down to two — Siding Spring and Mount Bingar near Griffith, also in New South Wales. Siding Spring was first suggested for astronomy by Harley Wood, the New South Wales Government Astronomer at the time, arthur Hogg did much of the preliminary site testing. The Siding Spring site was selected by the ANU in 1962 from many possible locations because of the dark. By the mid-1960s the ANU had set up three telescopes, together with supporting facilities, such as sealed roads, staff accommodation, electricity and water. In 1984, the Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, opened the ANUs largest telescope, since the 1950s, and quite independently of developments at Siding Spring, the Australian and British governments had been negotiating about the construction of a very large telescope. During the construction of the AAT in the early 1970s, the British Science Research Council also built the UK Schmidt Telescope,1 kilometre to the northeast of the AAT dome. The considerably wider field of view of the Schmidt optical design complements the narrower field of the AAT, interesting objects so discovered are then studied in greater detail on the larger instrument. In 1987, the Schmidt Telescope was amalgamated with the AAT, Siding Spring Observatory also houses many telescopes from institutions across the world including, Korea, America, the U. K. Poland, Hungary, Germany and Russia. In 1990, the earth-satellite tracking facility of the Royal Greenwich Observatory was closed down after 10 years of operation, las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network operate a 2-metre Ritchey Chretien telescope used for research, citizen science, and education purposes by users across the globe. Currently there are one thousand registered users of the Faulkes Telescopes. The wide field of view and the fast response permit measurements inaccessible to conventional instruments. HAT-South is a project to search for transiting planets in the Southern Hemisphere. It uses a network of telescopes to monitor hundreds of thousands of bright stars
Perihelion and aphelion
The perihelion is the point in the orbit of a celestial body where it is nearest to its orbital focus, generally a star. It is the opposite of aphelion, which is the point in the orbit where the body is farthest from its focus. The word perihelion stems from the Ancient Greek words peri, meaning around or surrounding, aphelion derives from the preposition apo, meaning away, off, apart. According to Keplers first law of motion, all planets, comets. Hence, a body has a closest and a farthest point from its parent object, that is, a perihelion. Each extreme is known as an apsis, orbital eccentricity measures the flatness of the orbit. Because of the distance at aphelion, only 93. 55% of the solar radiation from the Sun falls on a given area of land as does at perihelion. However, this fluctuation does not account for the seasons, as it is summer in the northern hemisphere when it is winter in the southern hemisphere and vice versa. Instead, seasons result from the tilt of Earths axis, which is 23.4 degrees away from perpendicular to the plane of Earths orbit around the sun. Winter falls on the hemisphere where sunlight strikes least directly, and summer falls where sunlight strikes most directly, in the northern hemisphere, summer occurs at the same time as aphelion. Despite this, there are larger land masses in the northern hemisphere, consequently, summers are 2.3 °C warmer in the northern hemisphere than in the southern hemisphere under similar conditions. Apsis Ellipse Solstice Dates and times of Earths perihelion and aphelion, 2000–2025 from the United States Naval Observatory