Duncan Steel

Duncan Steel is a space scientist based in Nelson. He has worked in scientific research for over forty years, with times spent with NASA, ESA, various universities and observatories, and also running his own company. Duncan is the author of four books, over a hundred research papers, and more than a thousand articles for newspapers and magazines. He has also appeared in hundreds of radio and TV programmes. Minor planet/ asteroid (4713) Steel is named for him, as is a lunar-roving robot in one of Arthur C. Clarke's SciFi novels.

Skywatching southerners have chance to see selenelion this Saturday morning - Out of Space

Jul 26, 2018

A few minutes after 8am this Saturday those further south in New Zealand will have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness a rare celestial event: a selenelion (or selenehelion). What is that? It’s when the eclipsed Moon can be seen on one horizon, whilst the rising Sun can also be observed near the opposite horizon. One might think this to be impossible – because an eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth and Moon are in a straight line, and so if the Moon is above the horizon then the Sun must surely be below it. But the bending (refraction) of the rays of light caused by our atmosphere makes it feasible to see both the eclipsed Moon and the Sun at the same time — so long as you are in the right place. The areas of our … Read More